Democrats introduce bill to provide $750 governor-backed tax rebates

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Jan. 25—New Mexico taxpayers who received rebates in 2022 are likely to see another round of payments.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said late last year she wanted to use part of the projected $3 billion in new state revenues to provide $750 to individual taxpayers and $1,500 for couples who file jointly.

She announced Wednesday the introduction of Senate Bill 10, sponsored by four Democratic lawmakers, which would fulfill her wish.

The bill would appropriate $1 billion to provide payments to about 875,000 taxpayers who are at least 18 years old. Dependents of other taxpayers would not be eligible for the money.

Lujan Grisham said in a news conference Wednesday the money should be seen "as a stimulus. You get money and you are spending it."

Calling it a "one-time additional set of support for families," Lujan Grisham said New Mexicans are still recovering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and grappling with rising costs of rents, mortgages, groceries and utility bills.

Many families, she said, "are still feeling pinched."

Sen. Benny Shendo Jr., D-Jemez Pueblo, said in a news release issued Wednesday by the Governor's Office the payments would be distributed sometime this summer if the Legislature approves the measure.

"This rebate will help thousands of families across the state as we continue recovering from the struggles we've faced these last few years," Shendo, one of the sponsors of the bill, said in the statement.

Lawmakers in both parties supported a similar measure last year, though some questioned whether the state could better use the money to provide more long-lasting forms of relief to families.

The bill will first be considered by the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee, which Shendo chairs.