House GOP urges Governor to support Social Security tax repeal with budget reductions

Santa Fe, NM- House Republicans are standing with their colleagues, Representative Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena) and Representative Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad), in their effort to repeal New Mexico’s tax on Social Security income. The entire House Republican caucus signed and delivered a letter urging Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to take up the matter and rally lawmakers to send House Bill 29 to her desk for signature. New Mexico is one of a handful of states that forces Social Security recipients to pay income tax on their benefits. This tax has led numerous national publications to label New Mexico as being unfriendly to retirees, which often discourages seniors from retiring here. Additionally, this tax is a significant burden for the many New Mexico seniors who rely solely on their Social Security income in retirement.

“The outpouring of support for repealing the tax has been voluminous. Unfortunately, a House committee prevented the bill from moving forward,” said Rep. Cathrynn Brown. “I am still receiving calls and messages urging that the Legislature act. I certainly hope that the Governor will speak out in favor of HB 29 and not let this matter slide another year.”

Representatives Brown and Armstrong co-sponsored HB 29, which was tabled recently in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee. With just days left in the 2020 legislative session, the pressure to take action has been building.

“I am ready and willing, along with all House Republicans, to help get this bill to the Governor’s desk. I hear from my friends and neighbors in my community how much this tax impacts their quality of life. Sometimes Santa Fe politics get in the way of boots-on-the-ground compassion,” said Rep. Gail Armstrong. “The Governor has a chance to make a statement that New Mexico is all in, in terms of supporting the many retirees in our state who receive Social Security. Our retirees should not have to wait another year for the repeal of this unfair tax.”

In their letter to the Governor, House Republicans suggest she use her executive line-item veto authority to make room in the budget to deliver this tax relief.

“The legislature and the Governor have an opportunity to pass reasonable, and more importantly, good legislation this year,” said House Republican Leader Jim Townsend. “I am proud that all of our Republican House members have made it a point to advocate for senior citizens, and am hopeful that we can deliver this tax relief without further delay.”