Taxpayers And Their Money Are Fleeing NM
Since 2010, NM has lost 17,552 taxpaying households
Nearly $1 billion in income gone
New Mexico's brain drain has had consequences far beyond mere population stagnation; it has seen nearly $1 billion in wealth leave the state.
According to IRS data, between 2010 and 2016, the state suffered a net loss of 17,522 taxpaying households and nearly $954 million in adjusted gross income.
That means that if state and local lawmakers want to keep the same tax revenue flowing into government coffers, they have to get more tax money from those who have stayed behind, meaning more tax money from fewer taxpayers.
The exodus of taxpayers from the state began in 2011. Between that year and 2012, the state had a net loss of 3,917 taxpaying households and a net loss of $166.3 million in adjusted gross income, or AGI.
AGI is defined as gross income minus certain deductions, so it doesn't represent the full loss of income that has fled the state.
Net loss is the difference between taxpayers who moved to the state and those who left.
The exodus of taxpayers continued between 2012 and 2013 when the state saw a net loss of 4,040 taxpaying households and $238.6 million in AGI.
The exodus peaked in 2013 and 2014 when the state saw a net loss of 4,307 taxpaying households and $234.6 million in AGI.
Between 2015 and 2016, the state had a net loss of 2,841 taxpaying households and $179 million in AGI.
And those taxpayers who have left had some money. According to IRS data, the average AGI for all those taxpaying households that have fled the state since 2011 was $54,338.
The loss of wealth, of course, coincides with the loss of people. Between 2010 and 2016, the state had a net outmigration of 37,780 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It means that that many more people left the state than came here from other places.
Between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, the state's net outmigration totaled 7,111 people.
Between 2010 and 2016, the state's population grew by a measly 21,817 people, or 1.1 percent. That small population increase was due to more births here than deaths.
Here's a look at the taxpayer exodus since 2010:
Year Net loss of Taxpaying households Net loss of AGI
2010-2011 +581 +$29.6 million
2011-2012 -3,917 -$166.3 million
2012-2013 -4,040 -$238.6 million
2013-2014 -4,307 -$234.6 million
2014-2015 -3,028 -$164.9 million
2015-2016 -2,841 -$179 million
So where have all those taxpayers gone? Here are the top 10 places to which New Mexican taxpayers fled to in 2015-2016:
State Taxpaying households AGI
Texas 7,006 $344.6 million
Arizona 4,054 $192.6 million
Colorado 3,163 $161 million
California 2,485 $181 million
Florida 1,278 $98.4 million
Washington 908 $60.2 million
Nevada 765 $39.7 million
Utah 688 $32.8 million
Foreign countries 683 $34.3 million
Oregon 651 $30.8 million