Grisham calls for tax cuts, clean fuel investments in state of state address

Grisham calls for tax cuts, clean fuel investments in state of state address

March 7, 2022 0 By Robert Davis

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called on New Mexican lawmakers to cut taxes and invest in clean fuel during her fourth state of the state address on Tuesday.

“I believe we can fulfill, once and for all, after 110 years of statehood, the destiny of New Mexico as a genuine homestead of the American Dream, a place where people can grow and thrive and live in peace and prosperity, where people have the resources they need to support themselves and their families,” Grisham said. “What we do here now, what we do in the coming weeks, will set the stage.”

Grisham is proposing a statewide reduction in gross tax receipts of 0.25%, which would bring down the state’s tax rate to 4.875%. If passed, it would be the first statewide tax decrease in nearly 40 years.

Grisham is also proposing extending the Buy New Mexico Initiative, a program that incentivizes businesses to procure their resources locally. The proposal would increase the state’s procurement code to 8% from its current 5% level. It would also eliminate the $3 million revenue cap for businesses to participate.

The governor also called on lawmakers to end the state’s practice of taxing social security income. The state taxes approximately one-third of social security income while individuals earning no more than $44,000 per year pay no taxes on this income, according to the Taxation and Revenue Department.

“This is good government, serving the people who have asked us to serve them,” Grisham said. “New Mexicans deserve it.”

The governor’s legislative agenda includes expanding clean fuel options in the state, along with aggressive climate goals and broad emissions reductions. She’s backing the Hydrogen Hub Act, a bill that seeks to implement economic and tax benefits to expand hydrogen energy use in the state, and the Clean Fuel Standard Act, which seeks to significantly cut the transportation sector’s emissions.

Power The Future, a group that advocates for energy sector workers, chided the governor’s energy agenda as “out-of-touch” because it would result in higher taxes and gas prices.

“While Santa Fe is flooded with cash, there’s clearly a drought of common sense from the Governor,” Larry Behrens, the group’s communications director, said in a statement. “These proposals are so out-of-touch it’s difficult to understand why the Governor would even want them, until you remember the Governor is fighting for campaign donations from radical environmentalists first and New Mexico’s families last.”

Grisham’s budget request also includes $2.5 million to establish a Climate Change Bureau within the state’s Environment Department to enforce the new environmental regulations.

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