ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — After a crash in its income, New Mexico racked up the fourth-best increase nationally in total tax revenue during its 2011 fiscal year resulting in a boost of $500 million, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
New Mexico saw a 15.5 percent revenue increase, good enough for fourth place but considerably less than leader North Dakota's shale-oil driven 44.5 percent.
Secretary Tom Clifford, of the state Department of Finance and Administration, attributed New Mexico's leap to three things: a boost in personal income tax numbers, a 1/8th cent hike in the sales taxes and a rebound in oil and gas revenues.
However state Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, who chairs the Legislative Finance Committee, cautioned a powerful revenue stream that has carried the state in the past--royalties from natural gas--is still very anemic and prices tumble.
Clifford said New Mexico doesn't depend just on natural gas but also oil, and oil prices have been rising, offsets the drop in natural gas dollars.
There is also good news about the 2012 fiscal year that began on July 1. Clifford said for the first seven months, actual income is triple the projections growing $250 million from the same period during the previous year.
Clifford said he feels confident the increased revenues mean the state can meet obligations and adequately finance public education, higher education, roads and public safety.
Clifford did say he is watching the federal cuts at the national labs. If the federal government continues to cut there, it could have a negative impact on state revenues.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.