*Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected with the correct attribution to the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department.

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico lawmakers recognize that money is tight thanks to rising prices. Now, they’re one step closer to bringing tax rebates to New Mexicans.

Senate Bill 10, sponsored by a handful of Democratic legislators, aims to give money back to New Mexicans. It would give $750 to single tax filers and $1,500 to married individuals filing joint returns, heads of households, and surviving spouses.

The rebates would be based on 2021 returns, rather than 2022 returns to make processing faster. And for those who did not file taxes in 2021, rebates would be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In order for the funds to be sent out to New Mexicans, the bill first needs to make it through several rounds of debate at the Roundhouse. On Thursday, legislators and the public discussed the bill in the Senate Tax, Business, and Transportation Committee.

The general feeling in the room was that the bill should move forward. “These rebates are particularly important this year because, as you all know, food prices have increased by over 10% Compared to last year, and beginning next month – in just a couple of weeks – 24% of all New Mexicans are going to see an average of 1/3 reduction in their SNAP benefits,” Alexandria Castillo Smith, the acting deputy secretary for the state’s Human Services Department said in a committee meeting Thursday.

Last year, similar rebates were sent out. But some people said they still haven’t received their rebates.

“I have some constituents, and myself, who never received our tax refund from last year,” Sen. Craig W. Brandt (R-Rio Rancho), said during the committee hearing. “If they didn’t [receive one] from last year, are they going to receive this one?”

In response, Stephanie Schardin Clarke, the secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department said that most rebates from last year have already been sent out, but some might be held up due to filing issues. So, if you haven’t received a rebate from last year, you should contact the Taxation and Revenue Department.

You can check the status of your tax returns by logging on to the state’s Taxpayer Access Point at tap.state.nm.us. And you can call 1-866-285-2996 if you still have not received any of the rebates.

Although most supported another round of rebates, not everyone was in agreement over the details. “I’m not sold yet on the dollar amount,” Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) said. It all depends on what other tax bills the Legislature passes this year, he notes. “So, I may be looking at an amount that’s lower than this.” Wirth also asked whether the rebates should go to everyone or if there should be a needs-based limit.

Schardin Clarke, from the Taxation and Revenue Department, clarified that if there were an income cutoff, it’s likely that the overall fiscal impact to the state’s bottom line wouldn’t change much. “There just aren’t that many higher-income filers in New Mexico,” she said. And she said the Taxation and Revenue Department feels the eligibility this time around should be the same as last year’s rebates.

Ultimately, the committee unanimously approved the bill, so it’s moving forward to the next round of debate. If the rebates do make it through the entire legislative process, it’s likely that Governor Lujan Grisham would approve the rebates. She’s tweeted in support of the bill.

If they’re approved, New Mexicans could start to see the rebates relatively soon. Direct deposits could go out as soon as six to eight weeks after a bill is signed, Schardin Clarke said.