Last week state legislators in New Mexico failed to pass an operating budget for fiscal year 2011 so they are now in a special session to get one passed. Thankfully, limited government advocates have been able to hold the line on higher taxes and are refusing to burden the working families of New Mexico further. Unfortunately, those calling for higher taxes haven’t backed down either. Your representatives and senators need to hear from you today.
A number of tax hike plans are being floated that call for higher taxes on cigarettes. These plans are trying to put the fiscal burdens of an entire state on one small portion of the population. New Mexico is not the only state facing budget gaps in this down economy, many states are in the same boat. And many of the states that have tried to pull the quick cash cigarette tax maneuver have found that it isn’t the silver bullet many hoped for and often the expected cash just doesn’t materialize.
Instead of paying ever higher prices, smokers go online, across state lines, to reservations, and the black market to purchase cigarettes. That also leaves New Mexico’s small businesses hurting as sales decline. A majority of smokers are poor, which means that regressive cigarette taxes will fall most heavily on the shoulders of those who are struggling most to make ends meet these days. These are too many problems all to pay for a tax that won’t even bring in the promised funds big-government spenders are counting on.
and tell your legislators to oppose any tax hikes to fix the budget. New Mexico need to kick the spending habit, not burden our small businesses and the poor to dig us out of our financial hole. This is a state-wide problem that should be addressed by everyone.
That means cutting spending and waste. These are new times and we can’t afford the same big government plans of the past that weigh down families and enterprise. It’s hard to find anyone exempt from the current economic downturn. But if families can learn to do more with less and stick to slimmed-down budgets, New Mexico can, too.
When you come up short at the end of the week, you can’t go next door and tax your neighbor. You learn to get by. Urge your legislators not to compromise – no tax hikes for New Mexico. Your constant vigilance and support is greatly appreciated.