Senate committee advances fuel tax measure | Legislature | New Mexico Legislative Session

New funding for New Mexico’s cracked highways and broken roads passed through the Senate Taxation, Business and Transportation Committee on Saturday morning.

Senate Bill 168 would increase the gasoline excise tax from 17 cents to 22 cents per gallon, and the extra contributions at the pump would raise over $63 million annually once fully phased in by 2025, mostly for the state road fund, according to a legislative analysis.

The bill passed on a 7-4 vote with support from the committee’s Democrats and objection from its four Republicans.

“We don’t have a single legislator that doesn’t say there are needs in their area. We even go to the extreme of school buses that can’t cross bridges because of delays in maintenance,” state Sen. Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales, D-Ranchos de Taos, said during the committee meeting. “Everyone will spend much more on coffee from Starbucks than their contribution here.”

The bill would also increase the special fuel excise tax from 21 cents to 26 cents per gallon. The state gasoline excise tax has been decreased twice since last being raised in 1993.