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AARP Supports Removal of Social Security Tax | My opinion

AARP New Mexico commends Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for including eliminating the state tax on Social Security benefits among her priorities for New Mexico’s 2022 legislative session.

Eliminating the state tax on hard-earned Social Security benefits is something AARP New Mexico has been advocating for several years. Throughout this period, a number of bills have been introduced by legislators from all political stripes. Unfortunately, New Mexico is one of 12 states that still tax Social Security benefits.

And New Mexico has one of the heaviest tax burdens in the country. The state taxes Social Security benefits on income of $25,000 or more for single filers and $32,000 or more for joint filers.

With New Mexico’s unprecedented budget surplus, we have a historic opportunity to right this mistake and start protecting older New Mexicans. But we only have 30 days to fix this vital issue. That’s why AARP New Mexico is calling on all of our state legislators to join the governor in making the elimination of the state Social Security tax a reality once and for all.

According to a new AARP poll in New Mexico, New Mexico voters ages 50 and older overwhelmingly agree, regardless of party, that it’s time to eliminate this tax burden, and they’re calling for the action of our state’s decision makers. The majority of New Mexico voters polled support eliminating state income tax on Social Security benefits.

The survey tested three proposals to reduce or eliminate the tax, and older voters in New Mexico clearly favored eliminating the state tax on Social Security benefits entirely by the start of the year. next calendar year, with nearly two-thirds showing strong support for this proposal. Strong support for the elimination was clear across all parties, with 85% Republicans, 74% Democrats and 88% independents in favor.

Other proposals to reduce or maintain the tax received much less support, with 60% backing phasing out the tax and 54% supporting maintaining tax on benefits but adjusting tax thresholds. taxation.

When you are retired, it is difficult to increase your income. Annual cost-of-living adjustments do not keep pace with rising costs for health care, utilities and other consumer goods. Now, with so many older New Mexicans struggling even more to afford health care and other basic needs, the promise of Social Security is even more important.

Social Security tax relief is a matter of fairness for middle-income retirees, and it’s an investment in the financial security of New Mexicans for years to come. Our elected officials must take advantage of this historic opportunity to help protect our retirees and their families. Now is the time to stop taxing hard-earned social security benefits.

Joseph P. Sanchez is the state director of AARP New Mexico.