The majority of New Mexico voters, across party lines, support eliminating the state income tax on Social Security benefits, states a new AARP poll of voters age 50 and over.
AARP New Mexico is calling on lawmakers to make eliminating the tax a top priority for the New Mexico 2022 Legislative Session.
“New Mexico is one of 13 remaining states that tax Social Security benefits,” said Othiamba Umi, AARP New Mexico Associate State Director for Advocacy. “Moreover, New Mexico’s tax on Social Security benefits is among the highest in the country.”
“Our survey shows overwhelming support to eliminate this tax. With the increase in revenue expected in the state’s budget, now seems like the perfect time to get this done and provide New Mexico’s retirees with the relief they so desperately need,” Umi said.
Several bills that will eliminate or reduce the tax on Social Security have already been introduced ahead of the Session including one by Sen. Bill Tallman and two others by Representatives Gail Armstrong, Cathrynn Brown, Randall T. Pettigrew and Candie G. Sweetser. Other lawmakers have also been discussing eliminating the tax.
Currently New Mexico taxes Social Security Benefits on income of $25,000 or higher for individual filers and $32,000 or high for joint filers. Because these income levels have not been adjusted for nearly 30 years – alongside inflation – more low -and middle-income retirees are being taxed on their Social Security benefits.
“Now, with so many Americans struggling to afford health care and other basic needs, the promise of Social Security is even more important,” said Umi. “Older New Mexico voters recognize this and will not settle for the taxation of their hard-earned benefits. That’s why we are urging state lawmakers to eliminate the Social Security tax now.”
The survey tested three proposals to reduce or eliminate the tax, and New Mexico older voters clearly preferred eliminating the state tax on Social Security benefits altogether by the start of the next calendar year, with almost two-thirds showing strong support for this proposal. The strong support for elimination was clear across party lines with 85 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of Democrats, and 88 percent of Independents, in support.
Other proposals to reduce or keep the tax, had much less support with 60 percent supporting a phasing out of the tax and 54 percent supporting keeping the tax on benefits but adjusting the tax thresholds.
See more on the survey at www.aarp.org/voterviewsofnmsstax