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New Mexico's Government Income Boosted by Oil Production as Legislators Construct Savings "Bridge"

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New Mexico's Government Income Surges with Record-Breaking Oil Production

New Mexico's state government is set to benefit from a substantial surplus in the upcoming budget year, thanks to record-breaking oil production. Economists from various state agencies, including the Legislature's budget and accountability office, forecast an increase in annual state general fund income to $13 billion for the fiscal year from July 2024 to June 2025. This represents a surplus of $3.5 billion, or 36%, over current spending obligations. The surge in oil production, with New Mexico now ranking as the second-largest producer after Texas, has contributed to the state's income through severance taxes, federal royalty payments, and various taxes linked to sales, corporate income, and personal income.

Implications for Budget Negotiations

The presented estimates provide a foundation for budget negotiations when the Legislature convenes in January 2024. However, concerns surrounding crime, healthcare, public education quality, childhood poverty rates, and low workforce participation will likely shape the allocation of funds.

Cautionary Approach to Spending

While the surplus is promising, some legislators urge caution in committing to new spending initiatives. They emphasize the need to consider the sustainability of expenditures, particularly if energy markets and production face challenges. Memories of the 2016 downturn serve as a reminder of the potential risks associated with overreliance on oil revenue.

Building a Financial Bridge

New Mexico aims to diversify its revenue sources and reduce dependence on the fossil fuel industry. The state has established emergency accounts, investment trusts, and a trust for early childhood education to support public programs and generate investment income. Legislation has been enacted to divert excess income from petroleum to the severance tax permanent fund, ensuring funds for construction projects and future investments.

In conclusion, New Mexico's record-breaking oil production has provided a significant boost to the state's government income. While the surplus offers opportunities for investment and program expansion, a cautious approach to spending and a focus on long-term financial sustainability will be crucial for the state's economic future.

Record Oil Production in New Mexico: A Boon or a Bane for New Businesses?

New Mexico's record-breaking oil production and the subsequent surge in the state's government income present a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges for new businesses. On one hand, the increased state income, forecasted to reach $13 billion for the fiscal year from July 2024 to June 2025, could lead to increased government spending. This could potentially stimulate the economy and create new opportunities for businesses.

Government Spending and Business Opportunities

With the government having more funds at its disposal, there could be increased spending in various sectors, such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare. This could open up new avenues for businesses operating in these sectors.

Dependence on Oil Revenue: A Double-Edged Sword

However, the state's heavy reliance on oil revenue could also pose risks. As seen in the 2016 downturn, a slump in the oil market could lead to reduced government spending and have a ripple effect on the economy, impacting businesses.

Diversification: A Step in the Right Direction

New Mexico's efforts to diversify its revenue sources and reduce its dependence on the fossil fuel industry is a positive move. This could lead to a more stable economic environment, which is beneficial for businesses.

In conclusion, while the oil boom in New Mexico presents potential opportunities for new businesses, it is crucial for these businesses to be aware of the associated risks and plan accordingly.

Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/oil-production-boosts-government-income-in-new-mexico-as-legislators-build-savings-bridge
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