SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Driven by a surge in oil and gas production, New Mexico is expected to rake in as much as $3.6 billion in “new” money for the state’s upcoming budget year. And that major increase might bring another round of tax rebates or economic stimulus payments to New Mexicans.
Ahead of the next legislative session in January, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is now said to be “urging” lawmakers to use a chunk of the one-time oil revenues to pay for another tax rebate or economic relief payment. A spokeswoman for the Governor’s Office, Nora Meyers Sackett, told KRQE News 13 Wednesday that “the governor is looking at rebates in the ballpark of $750 per taxpayer or $1,500 per jointly filing couple.”
That type of package could cost about $1 billion, according to Meyers Sackett. Again, the state is looking at “new money” revenues of roughly $3.6 billion.
Of course, the idea is just that: an idea. The fine details would ultimately need to be hammered out and passed by the state legislature, which is slated to reconvene for a 60-day session starting on January 17, 2023. But while the comments are “early” in terms of the lawmaking process, they are significant in signaling a strong likelihood of continuing with stimulus efforts lawmakers approved in early 2022.
Entering a second term as the state’s chief executive, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is facing much of the same scenario as she did in 2022. Alongside the Governor’s Office, Democrats control the New Mexico House with 44 seats to Republicans 25 seats. In the Senate, Democrats hold 27 seats to Republicans 15 seats.
Approaching the start of 2023, the Governor’s Office says it supports another round of rebates as New Mexicans “continue to experience high costs due to inflation.” Nationally, prices in the U.S. increased 7.1% in November 2022 compared to the same time in 2021.
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“The record-high revenue projections present a unique opportunity to keep more money in New Mexicans’ pockets,” said Nora Meyers Sackett, a spokeswoman for the governor. “The governor will continue to work closely with legislative leadership as the session approaches to finalize a potential package.”
The first program, which lawmakers passed in February, outlined a $250 payment for single tax filers making under $75,000 adjusted gross income (AGI) in the 2021 calendar year. $500 went to joint filers who made less than $150,000 AGI in 2021. Those payments went out in July.
The second program paid $250 to single tax filers and $500 to joint tax filers in May and August, regardless of income. That economic relief payment program was the product of a one-day special session in April.