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Child poverty rate improves in New Mexico

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Even though child poverty rates worsened nationally in 2021, they improved slightly in New Mexico.

New Mexico’s child poverty rate fell from 24.9% in 2019 to 23.9% in 2021, according to the recently released US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Nationally, child poverty worsened slightly, from 16.8% in 2019 to 16.9% in 2021, according to the survey.

For 2021, the federal poverty level was an annual income of $17,420 for a family of two; $21,960 for a family of three; and $26,500 for a family of four.

Amber Wallin (Courtesy of New Mexico Voices for Children)

According to a press release from New Mexico Voices for Children, which has long championed many of these policies.

“Although these federal programs are expiring, New Mexico should see lasting improvement from the policy changes made by the state legislature over the past several years,” said Amber Wallin, the organization’s executive director.

“In addition to minimum wage increases and tax credits for low-income New Mexicans, New Mexico also created a child tax credit and expanded child care assistance to nearly all families with children,” Wallin said. “Because of timing, the benefits of these changes are not showing in this data, but we should see them next year.”

In the release, Aiden Davis, director of state policy for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said state tax credits “are among the most effective tools in the tax box. policy tools for lawmakers looking to help families struggling to put food on the table.” , pay their bills and make ends meet.

Such tax credits, he said, also serve to “reduce racial and wealth inequality” and “mitigate some of the regressivity of state and local tax systems.”