House panel OKs tax increase for roads

February 14, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s tax on car and truck purchases would increase to finance $300 million in highway improvements under legislation approved by a House panel.

The motor vehicle excise tax would go [auth] from 3 percent to 4 percent until 2028 under a bill endorsed Thursday by the Transportation and Public Works Committee.

The increase provides $42 million next year for financing 10 highway projects. Included is widening Interstate 25 near the Arizona border; extra lanes on U.S. 70 in Las Cruces; widening I-25 in Albuquerque and a new interchange at Mesa del Sol; four lanes on U.S. 491 near Tohatchi; improving Route 68 from Espanola to Velarde; and upgrading U.S. 64 east of Farmington.

The measure heads to another committee, but a spokesman says Gov. Susana Martinez opposes a higher tax.

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