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Incredible 31 percent of N.M. budget derived from oil, gas

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By Randall McElroy

Thanks to the show “Breaking Bad,” many Americans now realize that they don’t need passports to visit New Mexico. We surely appreciate the publicity. But New Mexicans have reason to be even more grateful to another industry.
The New Mexico Tax Research Institute (NMTRI) recently released the study, “Fiscal Impacts of Oil and Natural Gas Production in New Mexico.” It’s impressively researched, including detailed county-level analyses. The results show that absent the tremendous financial impact of the oil and gas industries, New Mexico would be a far different, poorer state.
NMTRI found that 31.5 percent of the state’s General Fund revenues — the primary source of funding for state public schools and higher education — come from taxes paid by the oil and natural gas industries. The General Fund also pays for state public welfare programs, environmental protection, tourism advertising and support, road construction and maintenance, and many other functions of state government.


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