SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Tuesday, February 7, New Mexico’s legislators will tackle several bills with implications for finances across the state. One on the schedule could put more money into parents pockets. Another could boost the state’s budget by tens of millions.
Child tax credits
On the table today is a bill that could give parents a financial boost. Senate Bill 52, sponsored by Democratic legislators Bill Tallman (Abq.) and Pamelya Herndon (Abq.), would raise the amount of money parents can receive from child tax credits.
Currently, New Mexico offers tax credits based on parent income and the amount of children per family. This bill would increase the value of the credits.
The bill would raise the child tax credits offered at every income level. At the lowest incomes (adjusted gross income of $0 to $25,000 per year), the bill would raise the per-child credit from $175 to $202. Across all income levels, the credit would be increased by about 15% from the current value.
Oil and gas revenue
Today, legislators are also scheduled to debate a bill that could impact how much money the state would earn from oil and gas. Currently, funds from oil and gas leases on the state’s 13 million acres of land make up a significant portion of the state’s funding. In fiscal year 2022, for example, oil and gas brought over $2 billion to state coffers, according to the State Land Office.
Now, a bill could help New Mexico generate even more cash. Senate Bill 164, sponsored by Sen. Bill Tallman (D-Abq.), would raise the maximum royalty rate the state can charge oil and gas producers.
Currently, the maximum the state can charge is 20% of the value of the oil and gas extracted. The bill would raise that maximum rate to 25%. The bill would also require oil and gas producers to pay the state for oil and gas spilled, lost, or vented.
If the bill passes, it’s not clear how much it would impact state revenue. New Mexico’s revenue wouldn’t be impacted until fiscal year 2026, according to an analysis by the Legislative Finance Committee. And there’s no telling how many high-rate leases would even result in oil and gas production.
But the state land office estimates that the bill could bring an extra $50 million to $84 million per year to the state. That money would go into the state’s land grant permanent fund, which helps fund education across the state.
In case you missed it: NM Civil Rights Act, legislative salaries
Recently, New Mexico legislators considered a bill that would repeal the New Mexico Civil Rights Act. The New Mexico Civil Rights Act allows individuals to sue government in state court for civil rights violations.
Republican Representative John Block (Alamogordo) sponsored the bill to remove the New Mexico Civil Rights Act. Supporters say doing so would help police officers and could cut down on government spending. For more on the debate, check out this KRQE News 13 story.
But those opposed to the bill say it would leave individuals vulnerable to civil rights violations at the hands of government workers and would reduce accountability. Ultimately, the bill was tabled, and the New Mexico Civil Rights Act remains for now.
Legislators also considered a bill that could give legislators a salary. The bill, sponsored by a group of Democratic legislators, would allow voters to decide if the state’s constitution should be amended to allow for the creation of a commission to set salaries for legislators. For more on the bill, check out this KRQE News 13 story.
The bill gained traction in a committee meeting yesterday. The three Republicans in the room voted against it, but the Democrats in the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee voted to keep the bill moving forward. Now, it’s headed to the House Judiciary Committee.