ALBUQUERQUE — James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding the recent announcment by Gov. Susana Martinez of a revenue spike:
“The announcement of a surplus in our state budget from oil and gas revenue is good news for New Mexico’s children—for now. Unfortunately, without some foundational changes to our tax systems, these good times are not likely to last.
“Less than one year ago, lawmakers were scrambling to pay for basic services like schools, roads, and public safety. New Mexico has become too reliant on the oil and gas industry to fund these services, which has created boom-or-bust cycles for our economy, and therefore, for all New Mexicans. Right now we’re in a boom time, but we mustn’t forget that the bust times may be right around the corner.
“The current revenue spike also doesn’t change some basic facts that show how far behind the rest of the nation New Mexico has fallen: New Mexico still has the second lowest rate of job growth; we have the highest rate of long-term unemployment; we have the worst rate of child poverty; and we have some of the worst poverty rates for people who have college degrees and for people who work full time.
“With the surplus in hand, we now have an opportunity to level out this boom-and-bust cycle and make our economy more stable. Only then can we ensure that we have enough revenue to fund programs that invest in our kids. That means restructuring our tax code to make it more fair, increasing the Working Families Tax Credit, and creating a Child Tax Credit to put more money into the pockets of hard-working New Mexicans.
“We look forward to working with the Legislature to use this opportunity to reform taxes so that we have stable revenue whether oil is booming, or not.”