Home State/Regional News New Mexico state and local tax revenues rise thanks to oil

New Mexico state and local tax revenues rise thanks to oil

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New Mexico state and local tax revenues rise thanks to oil

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico tax authorities are collecting more local and state government tax dollars amid an oil industry rebound and some signs of an economic expansion, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Wednesday.

Martinez said in a statement that state and local revenues for the first seven months of the fiscal year have increased by $672 million from the previous year, or 13 percent. Those revenues include some money from local tax increases.

State general fund revenue increased by $489 million, or nearly 16 percent, during the same July-January period from the previous year, according figures from the Department of Finance and Administration.

A rebound in the oil and natural gas sectors is providing a windfall after two years of austere state budgeting.

Martinez and the Democrat-led Legislature recently approved a $260 million increase in general fund spending for the coming fiscal year, with pay increases for teachers, State Police and prosecutors.

Martinez is highlighting her 2017 veto of a proposed tax increase as a turning point in state finances.

Economists with the Legislative Finance Committee warned in January that recent increases in state income are linked almost entirely to the oil and natural gas sector, making the state even more dependent on a volatile industry.

The state has boosted general fund reserves to 10 percent of annual spending commitments. A leading credit ratings agency says the state may need 17 percent reserves to withstand a severe recession without disrupting government activities.

Meanwhile, the number of businesses formed in New Mexico is on the rise, the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office said.

There were 4,398 new business registrations for companies initiated in New Mexico during the first three months of 2018, outpacing all quarterly figures last year.

Burkett Shaw
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