There is no clear definition of what causes an economy to go into a “death spiral,” but declining revenues leading to tax hikes which lead to businesses and productive citizens leaving which in turn leads to declining revenues is the one I would put forth. To be sure, Forbes named New Mexico the #1 “death spiral” state in the nation (by a long-shot).
We’ve known about the declining revenues and young people leaving for a few years now, but it looks like the tax hike phase of New Mexico’s death spiral may be here. Democrats in the Legislature just passed a budget that includes tax hikes (although they will likely be vetoed by the Gov.) Even more troubling is that the largest County (by population) in our State is looking to pass major tax hikes.
As the Foundation has pointed out in the past, the GRT in Albuquerque has risen more than 20% since 2000 and Bernalillo County just increased the tax in 2015. Adding another tax hike (or hikes) on top of those already-rising rates may not seem like a big deal, but it may also be the thing that pushes more businesses and people out.