(The Center Square) - The New Mexico State Legislature voted to send two constitutional amendments to statewide ballots in 2024 March 17 before adjourning March 18.
House Joint Resolution 5 (HJR 5) would extend the disabled veteran property tax exemption to all disabled veterans (or their surviving spouse) in proportion to their federal disability rating. Currently, the state constitution only authorizes the disabled property tax exemption for veterans (or their surviving spouse) with a federal disability rating of 100 percent. The disabled veteran property tax exemption was first added to the state constitution in 1998 with the approval of Amendment 5.
To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a simple majority vote is required in both chambers of the state legislature. The state House passed HJR 5 in a vote of 67-0 with three excused March 2. It passed the state Senate by a vote of 39-0 with three excused or not voting March 17.
The second amendment was introduced as House Joint Resolution 6 (HJR 6). It would amend the state constitution to increase the property tax exemption for veterans from $4,000 to $10,000 and adjust it annually for inflation. Approximately 74,000 veterans claimed the exemption in 2020 according to the Legislative Finance Committee.
The state House passed HJR 6 in a vote of 68-0 with two excused March 6. The amendment passed the state Senate in a vote of 38-0 with four not voting or excused March 17.
The amendments do not need the governor's signature to go on the ballot.
In New Mexico, a total of 108 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2022. Ninety-five ballot measures were approved, and 13 ballot measures were defeated.