New Mexico Democrats, with full control of the state House, Senate, and governorship, want to impose a carbon tax on state residents that would cause a steep increase in household costs.
Senate Bill 393, sponsored by Senator William Soules (D-37), would burden the hardworking people of New Mexico with a massive gas tax hike. If implemented, what Democrats deem the “Next Gen Carbon Emission Pricing Plan,” would impose a gasoline surtax of 45 cents per gallon. The tax increase would begin at nine cents per gallon in 2020, and then increase by nine cents a year over the next five years until 2024.
To put this tax hike in perspective, SB 393 would increase New Mexico’s total taxes and fees on gasoline by 238 percent. The proposed 63.875 cents per gallon rate, coupled with the existing 1.875 cents Petroleum Products Loading Fee, would be 89 percent greater than the current national average of 33.78 cents per gallon, and would also beat out Pennsylvania’s total gas tax of 58.7 cents as highest in the nation.
In addition to the gasoline surtax, SB 393 would also impose a natural gas processors surtax on top of New Mexico’s existing natural gas processors tax. This tax would be begin at 60 cents per MMBtu in 2020, and increase 60 cents a year over the next five years until reaching $3.00 in 2024. Along with forcing taxpayers to spend significantly more of their hard-earned money at the pump, SB 393 would hurt one of New Mexico’s strongest industries, costing the state jobs and wages.
The carbon tax included in the bill adds a surtax to gasoline and natural gas equal to $10/metric ton of CO2 emitted, and will increase by $10 per year until it reaches $50 in 2024. This bill remains in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee after a tied vote on March 7, so it is thankfully dead for this session. There is no question that carbon tax proposals are unpopular with voters, so that combined with a 238% gas tax increase would most likely not spark joy with many voters in the Land of Enchantment.
The fiscal impact report of SB 393 released by the New Mexico state legislature included a graphic from NMDOT showing how truly drastic this proposal is:
Even Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has acknowledged the consequences of gas tax increases. In the original FAQ of her Green New Deal, she states, “We cannot simply tax gas and expect workers to figure out another way to get to work unless we’ve first created a better, more affordable option.” It seems SB 393 is in some ways more radical than the most aggressive Democratic proposal to date.
New Mexico legislators are going after taxpayers with this bill, and are completely following the lead of national left wing Democrats. New Mexico’s legislative session ends on March 16, however this issue is certainly not going away anytime soon.