New Mexico Senate panel guts House-passed tax plan

March 14, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A key New Mexico Senate committee has removed proposed increases in personal income tax rates for higher-earning residents.

The Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee voted 5-2 on Thursday to move along a House-passed tax package but only after the income tax hikes were dropped and the bill was significantly amended.

Committee Chair Sen. Clemente Sanchez says the state’s budget surplus made it hard to rationalize a major tax hike. Under the changes, proposed tax increases on tobacco products and cars shrank.

Sanchez broke with Democratic colleagues who say significant new sources of state income are needed to ensure sustained funding for higher teacher salaries and roadways.

Rep. Jim Trujillo, a Santa Fe Democrat, says lawmakers have already spent the projected surplus and the state needed more revenue.