New Mexico is in a recession (at least). The Bureau of Economic Analysis has the latest GDP “growth” (3rd quarter of 2016) data for each state. Per the usual these days, the data are not good for New Mexico (see below). New Mexico was one of two states (Alaska being the other) to see a decline in GDP. Neighboring states like Colorado, Utah, and even oil-producing Texas raced ahead with growth rates exceeding 4 percent.
What does this mean? Well, it is a small sample size. Quarterly growth is volatile, but we know that New Mexico is in bad shape economically. Basic economic theory (as expounded upon nicely by President Obama) also tells us that tax hikes in bad economic times aren’t the best idea. So, what is our Legislature doing?
According to the ABQ Journal, the Senate Finance Committee voted to raise taxes. Unlike some votes, this was a bi-partisan vote with Republicans (minus Sen. Carroll Leavell) voting to raise taxes. It places these Republicans and any others voting to raise taxes uncomfortably to the left of President Obama (who at least claimed to oppose raising taxes during a recession) on the issue of taxes.