First, a caveat: This information was already out of date when I picked it up from the

last week. An economist there says continued decline in the broader economy will make for bigger projected deficits as state lawmakers prepare to meet Oct. 17 for a special session on the budget.

I'll update this post when I have better numbers. Still, these give a pretty stark picture of what New Mexico faces going forward, per this week's forthcoming story in SFR.

As the scrawl suggests, the numbers in parens are the state budget deficits for this and the next fiscal years. They add up to approximately $656 million, or roughly 8.5 percent of what the state takes in in a year.

Why is this happening? The R-word, of course.

This chart shows what happened to statewide gross receipts tax collections since the summer of 2007, before the recession hit hard around the country. Those GRT figures are a decent measure of how much people and businesses are spending. As you can see, not so much. (This chart also shows that the recession did in fact come to New Mexico somewhat late—around December 2008.)

You can download the whole 13-page PDF from which these figures were derived

. For those without that much time to kill, this last chart is an important one.

This says even if lawmakers succeed in balancing this and next year's budget through another round of cuts, they'll still be running a deficit of at least $116 million for fiscal year 2011. The word for that is "punting."