NM revenues continue to slip, tax hikes loom on the horizon

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Potential budget gap of $700 million projected

By The Staff

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) " New Mexico's revenue outlook continues to weaken, aggravating the state's budget problems.

The Legislative Finance Committee received a new financial forecast Thursday that says revenues will be $53 million lower next year than previously expected.

There's a potential budget gap of $600 million to $700 million next year.

That shortfall is partly because the state is using federal economic stimulus money to pay for public schools and health care services. At least $300 million in state money will be needed to replace federal funds next year unless budgets are cut by that amount.

Lawmakers and the governor are looking at reducing spending and potentially raising taxes to balance the state budget next year.

The Legislature convenes Jan. 19 for a 30-day session.