At the Rio Grande Foundation we have covered the economic challenges faced by the Four Corners region and San Juan County. Primarily this involves the long term decline in natural gas prices combined with the closure of the region’s coal-fired power plants.
Due in part to these economic challenges, tax revenues at San Juan County are down significantly and the County faced a $4.6 million gap next fiscal year. So, the County Commission just voted to raise taxes (1/8th cent on the GRT).
This isn’t a long-term solution. The Four Corners area needs some good economic news, but when two of your largest job-creating industries face extinction options are limited. We have consistently urged change in the Legislature and approaches by our State to bring more economic freedom to the State as a whole with benefits accruing to the Four Corners and every other part of New Mexico. Unfortunately, COVID 19 and the Gov.’s intense lockdown has caused the State’s unemployment rate to jump dramatically with Farmington’s rate even higher at 16 percent.
Unless something dramatic happens in Santa Fe this fall there don’t seem to be many bright spots on the Four Corners’ economic horizon.