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KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

New Mexican lawmakers approve tax rebates to soften inflation

Democratic state Rep. Christine Chandler, of Los Alamos, with microphone, fields questions from legislators in the New Mexico House of Representatives in Santa Fe, N.M., on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, about a bill that would provide tax rebates and payments to offset the rising consumer prices. The House voted 51-13 to endorse the legislation that was cosponsored by Chandler and Democratic colleagues. More than a dozen states are considering or implementing payouts to the public in response to raging inflation and budget surpluses. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
Morgan Lee/AP
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AP
Democratic state Rep. Christine Chandler, of Los Alamos, with microphone, fields questions from legislators in the New Mexico House of Representatives in Santa Fe, N.M., on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, about a bill that would provide tax rebates and payments to offset the rising consumer prices. The House voted 51-13 to endorse the legislation that was cosponsored by Chandler and Democratic colleagues. More than a dozen states are considering or implementing payouts to the public in response to raging inflation and budget surpluses. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

News brief

The New Mexico legislature this week approved sending economic relief to about 1.4 million residents to counter rising costs in the state. That mirrors other efforts across the Mountain West – the region seeing the highest rates of inflation in the country.

Soaring fuel prices, especially, drove lawmakers to swiftly pass a bill that provides tax rebates of $500 for individual tax filers and $1,000 for households.

“We should not be viewing this economic household relief as simply focused on vehicles, but it is the wide array of economic challenges that our citizens are facing right now,” Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), a sponsor of the bill, said during a House meeting on Tuesday.

The aid package, approved with bipartisan support during a special session, distributes hundreds of millions of dollars, and includes relief for non-tax filers.

“There is $20 million in this bill set aside for non-filers, for whatever reason," said Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-Albuquerque), another bill sponsor. "People who don’t file are among the most in need in this state.”

The rebates are likely to come in two payments, according to the governor's office, the first by the end of June and the second in August.

At the federal level, U.S. senators from Nevada, Arizona and other states introduced a bill in February, the Gas Prices Relief Act of 2022, to suspend the federal gas tax. The governors of New Mexico and Colorado have voiced their support for the bill.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2022 KUNM. To see more, visit KUNM.