On Tuesday, Carlsbad City Council passed a resolution supporting a repeal of the state’s income tax on Social Security. According to AARP, New Mexico is one of 13 states that assesses tax on Social Security income and has the second heaviest tax on Social Security. According to USA Today, 13.3 percent of retirement aged New Mexicans live below the poverty line, making it the highest rate in the country. Only 42.2 percent of New Mexicans 65 or older have any type of additional retirement income, which is one of the lowest rates in the country. The current tax on Social Security benefits only heightens this problem.
Six bills were introduced during the 2020 legislative session attempting to address this issue, but they did not make it through the legislature. However, the website Think New Mexico reports that 9,600 emails were sent out in support of the repeal. Rep. Cathrynn Brown has pledged to introduce a similar bill during the upcoming 2021 legislative session. The need our seniors face is even greater this year, due to the numerous financial stresses caused by COVID. Repealing this unfair tax will allow more money to be circulated and also hopefully attract more retirees to New Mexico.
Carlsbad City Council did the right thing by voting to pass a resolution in support of the upcoming effort to repeal the state tax on Social Security. While this resolution has no formal authority, it will provide Rep. Brown and our legislators with additional evidence of community support during the upcoming legislative session.
In addition to wanting to help our seniors financially, there’s also the issue of fairness. People already pay their tax when Social Security benefits are set aside throughout their working lives. Taxing Social Security benefits is an unfair double tax. We hope Carlsbad residents will join us in supporting all efforts to repeal the state’s income tax on Social Security. For more information on this issue, please visit https://www.thinknewmexico.org/retirement-security.
From the office of Mayor Dale Janway