Richardson Proposes Tax Increase And Budget Cuts

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson is proposing an unspecified $200 million tax increase to shore up state finances and balance next year's budget.

Richardson on Tuesday released budget recommendations to the Legislature for 3 percent cuts in spending in the fiscal year that starts next July. The cuts will save $158 million.

The governor proposed spending more than $5 billion next year on public education and general government programs.

Besides a tax increase, Richardson's budget includes $100 million in one-time revenues. That's done by using severance tax bond proceeds for previously approved capital improvement projects, freeing up tax revenues that had been allocated for the work.

The governor said he would support only a temporary tax increase expiring when the economy recovers.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.