SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) –  Lawmakers are looking at the possibility of lowering sales tax. The reduction would apply to the gross receipts tax which is levied on businesses and passed on to customers. The rate would go down a quarter of a percentage point, bringing it below 5%. The governor has said the move could save New Mexicans $170 million a year and that the state can afford it.

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On Thursday, lawmakers debated adding a provision that would automatically raise the tax again if state revenues dip too low. “You can’t just re-tax again, and the observation about if we go into a recession it’s a terrible time to do that,” said Senator Martin Hickey (D-Albuquerque).

“It’s really easy to vote for these bills, it’s really hard to vote for bills that raise revenue,” said Majority Leader Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe).

The bill’s sponsors are hoping to roll it into a larger package of tax changes.