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With a rapidly growing aging population, securing Social Security funds is now more crucial than ever. But how did we get here in the first place? USA TODAY

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AZTEC — New Mexico is one of 13 states that taxes the Social Security benefits senior citizens receive. San Juan County hopes that practice ends after the upcoming legislative session.

The San Juan County Commission joined a growing list of counties in passing a resolution asking state lawmakers to repeal that tax.

The Otero and Doña Ana county commissions both passed similar resolutions this month asking for the tax to be repealed.

County Manager Mike Stark said the average Social Security recipient in New Mexico pays $700 in taxes on those benefits. He said New Mexico also has a high poverty rate among its senior residents.

The tax went into effect following the 1990 legislative session.

As San Juan County works to diversify its economy, it hopes to attract a retirement community.

More: County calls for state Legislature to repeal Social Security tax

Commission Chairman Jack Fortner said he would like New Mexico to be listed as one of the best states for seniors to retire in, and he said repealing the tax on Social Security benefits would help that goal.

The legislative session begins Jan. 21 and will be a 30-day session.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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