Return surplus to taxpayers, abandon health care boondoggle

If you follow what happens in New Mexico politics, you are probably aware that Governor Richardson has called a special session which is set to begin in about a week. Although the session was called, at least in theory, to work on health care, the Governor has proposed a tax rebate package (which also contains some new spending) in order to return some of the State’s excess oil and gas tax revenue to taxpayers.
While we at the Rio Grande Foundation support any effort to return money to taxpayers, as I point out in this opinion piece from the Las Cruces Sun-News, there should be no new permanent spending in the special session, in part due to the volatility of oil and gas revenues. On the flip side, legislators should study ways to stimulate New Mexico’s economy and ensure the State’s long-term success, such as by permanently reducing income tax rates.