New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has announced plans to increase tax rates on several items in order to balance the state budget. The budget was balanced and the state had a surplus before Richardson took office, but is now in huge economic crisis due to his spending.
Richardson wants to cut spending in some areas, but sees the need to increase spending in others (especially where it might get him or his party more votes in the next election).
One of his most controversial proposals may be the tax on lottery tickets in order to provide more money for education. Originally, 100% of all of the state proceeds from lottery ticket sales were to go to education. Richardson has cut that amount, in addition to cutting the regular state budget for education.
Said one teacher, "so, if we get another ten million from lottery ticket taxes, he'll just take that much more money out of our regular budget."
An unnamed Richardson economic advisor explained the education cuts by saying that "educated people don't vote for our party or our platform, so why should we pay to educate ourselves out of office?"
In order to meet the financial needs of the state, Richardson is proposing the following taxes:
- Increasing the gross receipts tax (sales tax) by half a cent
- Repealing the tax free status of food
- Increasing the state income tax rates on anyone earning enough money to vote Republican
- Increasing the cigarette tax by $1.00 a pack
- Adding a cigarette tax to retail sales on tribal lands (there currently is no tax on cigarettes sold on reservations)
- Increased motor vehicle registration fees for cars that still carry McCain or Bush bumper stickers
- An increased property tax rate to only affect counties that did not support Richardson's most recent election bid
- Increasing taxes on anyone who points out Richardson's near bankrupting of the state in order to fund his Presidential bid in the last election
- Adding sales tax to all Indian Casino Gambling, meaning that playing the nickel slots would now cost six cents
- 100% tax on anyone who said that his wife looks like she could have played lineman for the Chicago Bears