NM Land Commissioner Ray Powell Announces State Land Office Earned $69 Million in March for Public Schools, Universities and Hospitals

In the month of March, the New Mexico State Land Office earned $69 million for the beneficiaries of the state land trust.

“This $69 million is critically important in supporting New Mexico’s public schools, universities, and hospitals,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell. “We are working collaboratively with the private sector, our sovereign tribes, our local, state, and federal agencies, and our local communities to create jobs for New Mexicans while taking care of the health of our working trust lands.”

The New Mexico State Land Office is responsible for managing state trust lands to generate income for 22 beneficiaries and for taking care of the lands so they are healthy and productive for the future.

The revenue in March was distributed to beneficiaries as follows:

  • More than $61 million went to support public schools in New Mexico.
  • More than $1.7 million went to state colleges and universities.
  • More than $1.5 million went to special schools, such as the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, in Alamogordo, and the School for the Deaf, in Santa Fe.
  • More than $945,000 went to hospitals, including Miner’s Colfax Hospital in Raton, and special hospitals like Carrie Tingley Hospital in Albuquerque.
  • The remaining $2.2 million went to other institutions, including the State Penitentiary and public buildings, water reservoirs, Rio Grande Improvements, and other beneficiaries.

Revenues from nonrenewable use of the trust lands, such as the royalties from oil and natural gas extraction, are deposited into the Land Grant Permanent Fund. They are invested and a percentage of the fund is paid to the beneficiaries.

Revenues from the renewable resources uses, such as grazing, rights of way, interest on earnings and bonuses paid to acquire oil and gas leases, are distributed directly to the beneficiaries, minus the StateLand Office’s operating budget and other administrative expenses.

Ray Powell, the New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands is an elected state official responsible for administering the state’s land grant trust. Thirteen million acres of land were granted to New Mexico in 1898 and 1910. Each tract is held in trust for the public schools, universities, as well as special schools and hospitals that serve children withphysical, visual, and auditory disabilities. During the last three years, the trust lands produced more than $1.7 billion in income for the beneficiaries, saving the average household about $800 a year in taxes.