BLOG ARCHIVESBLOG ARCHIVES
VIEW OUR APPSVIEW OUR APPS

New Mexico has the Seventeenth Highest Tax Burden in the Nation for 2013

Apr 11, 2015


In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, New Mexico collected $7.7 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average New Mexico taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.


As shown in Chart 1 below, New Mexico’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by personal income) was the seventeenth highest in the nation for FY 2013 at 10.3 percent—this is right at the national average of 10.3 percent. As shown in Chart 2, New Mexico’s tax burden has grown 24 percent to 10.3 percent in FY 2013 from 8.4 percent in FY 1950.


New Mexico State and Local Tax Burden Rank 2013.jpg




New Mexico’s tax burden by type is one of extremes. One the positive side New Mexico has a low property tax burden (2 percent, 47th highest), individual income tax burden (1.6 percent, 37th highest). However, New Mexico has a very high sales tax burden (3.9 percent, 3rd highest), and all other taxes burden (2.5 percent, 11th highest).


New Mexico’s sales tax is actually a gross receipts tax meaning that it is levied on very broad-based number of goods and services and leads to tax pyramiding.  Tax pyramiding creates all kinds of very bad economic distortions (pdf) by imposing higher effective tax burdens on some industries, but not others—especially industries that are near the end of the value-added chain.


New Mexico does need to ditch the gross receipts tax, but at the same time increasing other taxes is not the answer either. The solution is to adopt a Business Flat Tax like the one I’ve proposed for New Hampshire.


Additionally, New Mexico allows their localities to levy an additional percentage over the state rate of 5.125 percent in 2015. According to the Tax Foundation, in 2015, the combined state and local sales tax rate for New Mexico averages to 7.35 percent which is the 16th highest in the country.




Finally, New Mexico’s high all other taxes burden is due to the Severance Tax Permanent Fund which levies a 12.5 percent tax on coal, natural gas, oil, and other minerals. The Fund has disbursed more than $8.5 billion since its creation in 1973 and accounts for nearly 15 percent of the state’s budget.


Interestingly, New Mexico’s Fund works opposite to Alaska’s Permanent Fund, which pays directly to individuals, and creates an apples-to-oranges comparison. Since New Mexico’s Fund pays directly to the state, it acts as a tax reduction since, all else being equal, other taxes are lower than otherwise. Alaska’s Fund, however, goes to individuals so it is not directly counted as a tax reduction because it does not impact tax collections.


The easiest way to deal with the problem is to “export” severance taxes to other states thus reducing the tax burden on New Mexico taxpayers—the Tax Foundation does this and shows a much lower tax burden of 8.6 percent which is the 37th highest tax burden.


#New Mexico #taxburden has grown 24% between FY 1950 to 2013 to 10.3% from 8.4%. (click to tweet)


Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in New Mexico—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.


The New Mexico counties with the highest local government tax burden include: Harding County, NM (6.1 percent), Lincoln County, NM (5.4 percent), and Lea County, NM (5.4 percent). The New Mexico counties with the lowest local government tax burden include: Mora County, NM (1.7 percent), Cibola County, NM (1.7 percent), and Socorro County, NM (1.8 percent).


Click here to view tax burden data by state, county, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2013.


New Mexico State and Local Tax Burden 1950 to 2013.jpg



Category: Tax Burdens

J. Scott Moody

J. Scott Moody has nearly 20 years experience as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as the American Conservative Union Foundation, Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Check Out Our Unique Apps:

U.S. Capitol.jpg

Government Workforce

Tax Squeeze.jpg

Tax Burden

Strings Attached to Federal Dollars.jpg

Federal Tax and Spend

Hundred Dollar Bill.jpg

Cost of Living (COLI)

Baby.JPG

Demographic

Measuring a Dollar.jpg

Federal Tax & COLI

Retired.jpg

Federal Pension

United States Office of Personnel Management Seal.jpg

Federal Payroll

Check Out All Posts For Your State:

Alabama.jpg  Alabama

Alaska.jpg  Alaska   

Arizona.jpg   Arizona 

Arkansas.jpg  Arkansas

California.jpg  California

Colorado.jpg  Colorado

Connecticut.jpg  Connecticut

 Delaware.jpg  Delaware

Florida.jpg  Florida

 Georgia.jpg  Georgia

Hawaii.jpg  Hawaii

  Idaho.jpg  Idaho

   Illinois.jpg  Illinois

   Indiana.jpg  Indiana

  Iowa.jpg  Iowa

  Kansas.jpg  Kansas

  Kentucky.jpg  Kentucky

   Louisiana.jpg  Louisiana

   Maine.jpg  Maine

  Maryland.jpg  Maryland

Massachusetts.jpg  Massachusetts

Michigan.jpg  Michigan

Minnesota.jpg  Minnesota

  Mississippi.jpg  Mississippi

Missouri.jpg  Missouri

Montana.jpg  Montana

Nebraska.jpg  Nebraska

Nevada.jpg  Nevada

New Hampshire.jpg  New Hampshire

New Jersey.jpg  New Jersey

New Mexico.jpg  New Mexico

New York.jpg  New York

North Carolina.jpg  North Carolina

North Dakota.jpg  North Dakota

Ohio.jpg  Ohio

Oklahoma.jpg  Oklahoma

Oregon.jpg  Oregon

Pennsylvania.jpg  Pennsylvania

Rhode Island.jpg  Rhode Island

South Carolina.jpg  South Carolina

South Dakota.jpg  South Dakota

Tennessee.jpg  Tennessee

Texas.jpg  Texas

Utah.jpg  Utah

Vermont.jpg  Vermont

Virginia.jpg  Virginia

Washington.jpg  Washington

West Virginia.jpg  West Virginia

Wisconsin.jpg  Wisconsin

Wyoming.jpg  Wyoming