Land Commissioner Ray Powell Announces that State Land Office Earned $ 65 Million in November for Public Schools, Universities and Hospitals

New Mexico State Land Commissioner Ray Powell has announced that in the month of November, the New Mexico State Land Office earned $65.5 million in revenue for the beneficiaries of the state land trust. These high revenues largely were driven by oil and gas royalties that earned $62.3 million in November 2013 – the second-highest month on record for oil and gas royalties at the State Land Office, surpassing October 2013 as the second- highest month.

New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell

New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell

“This $65.5 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.

After covering State Land Office operating expenses, the revenue was distributed to beneficiaries as follows:

  • More than $58.7 million went to support public schools in New Mexico. • Almost $1.8 million went to state colleges and universities.
  • More than $1.58 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 $914,000 went to hospitals, including Miner’s Colfax Hospital in Raton, and special hospitals like Carrie Tingley Hospital in Albuquerque.
  • The remaining $2.5 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 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 State Land Office’s operating budget and other administrative expenses.

A complete list of state land trust beneficiaries is available on the agency’s website at: http://www.nmstatelands.org/About_The_Beneficiaries.aspx.

The monthly financial reports are available at:
http://www.nmstatelands.org/Financial_Monthly_Reports.aspx.

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New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell 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 with physical, visual, and auditor y disabilities. In fiscal year 2013, the trust lands produced more than $577 million in income for the beneficiaries, which saves the average household about $800 a year in taxes.