Santa Fe - “They have paid enough, and enough is enough,” That is what Senator Lee S. Cotter says about 97 year olds and older who he wants exempted from having to pay New Mexico state income tax.
“We appreciate these elders have been paying for students’ education, and for numerous other government services for many years, many years. They deserve a break, they deserve a benefit,” Senator Cotter said.
Senator Cotter’s SB 200- Income Tax Exemption Age- lowers the age to 97 of a person who is exempt from paying State income tax, starting with the 2014 tax year. Current law exempts persons age 100 and older.
Senator Cotter said currently there are approximately 250 people who would benefit from the exemption, saving them an average of $1500 a year in taxes. He said he chose to lower the exemption age to 97 because he felt the state could afford to forfeit their nearly $400,000 in state income tax payments from those 92, 98 and 99 years old. . He said any larger reduction in taxes might not pass the legislature.
Taxation and Revenue Department estimates that under this bill, the cost to the State’s General Fund would be about $390,000 in FY15, increasing to about $425,000 in FY18.
Currently, only about 75 people have applied for the current exemption for 100-year-olds.