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In Brief - New Mexico News - March 25, 2013

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The Associated Press

Plan could force tax hike  
The New Mexico Legislature’s decision to phase out state reimbursements to local governments for not taxing food and medicine could lead some city and county governments to raise taxes.

The plan adopted by the Legislature on March 16 will require large and mid-sized city and county governments starting in 2016 to accept a payout between 6 percent and 7 percent smaller each year until the state’s “hold harmless” subsidies for the food and medicine taxes are entirely eliminated by 2030.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that some local governments say that tax hike may be needed.

Local government officials say the lost state money adds new financial pressure to local budgets already strained by earlier cuts needed to weather years of economic recession.

TB cases in NM on the decline
SANTA FE — New Mexico health officials say there has been a drop in the number of tuberculosis cases in the state.

The state Health Department says there were a total of 40 cases of active tuberculosis diagnosed in New Mexico in 2012. That’s down from 49 cases the previous year.

The rate of tuberculosis in New Mexico stands at 1.9 cases per 100,000 people. The national rate is more than 3 cases per 100,000 people.

Despite the good news, health officials say New Mexico is still experiencing a higher than average TB mortality rate of 15 percent. Nationally, the mortality rate stands at 4 percent.

The signs and symptoms of infectious active TB include a persistent cough, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, fatigue and loss of appetite.