January 24, 2017

Poll shows New Mexicans favor some tax increases to balance budget

A new poll finds that a majority of registered voters in New Mexico support raising taxes to make up for the state’s budget shortfalls.

According to the poll, commissioned by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, registered voters do not support reducing public education funds in order to fix the state’s budget.

The Center’s Executive Director Edward Tabet-Cubero said in a statement New Mexico lawmakers should take note of the poll results.

“This survey demonstrates strong public opinion that the solution to this crisis should not come in the form of more cuts,” Tabet-Cubero said.

The poll was conducted by Research and Polling in Albuquerque.

The results show that 54 percent of registered New Mexico voters favor raising taxes for households earning at least $200,000 a year. The highest personal income tax bracket for New Mexico is currently $24,000 or higher.

The poll also shows 72 percent of voters oppose using public education funds to help shore up the state budget.

Gov. Susana Martinez earlier this month proposed moving cash reserves from individual school districts to help balance the state’s troubled financial books. Martinez has also said she would not approve any increases to taxes or new taxes.

Polls conducted by Research and Polling, Inc. have previously been used for hot-button political issues like reinstatement of the death penalty and whether workers’ unions should collect fees from non-members who benefit from their negotiations. Some Republicans and Martinez supporters used poll results on both issues to cite as examples of  public opinion.

“Our policymakers should listen to the views of New Mexicans who support fair tax solutions,” Tabet-Cubero said in a press release.

Spokesmen for Martinez did not respond to requests for comment from NM Political Report. If they respond to this within the next 24 hours, we will add their response.

The poll also asked participants to rank possible solutions to the current budget crisis.

Raising taxes on alcohol and tobacco ranked high, while raising taxes on gasoline was the least popular option.

Research and Polling, not the Center on Law and Poverty came up with the questions for the poll. The polling company previously described its process on creating polling questions to NM Political Report.