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Morning Word: You'll Pay More Tax in Santa Fe

June 28, 2017, 7:30 am

Tax, man
Let us tell you how it will be: Come January 1, 2018, everyone in Santa Fe County—including in cities like Santa Fe and Española and Edgewood—will pay a new gross receipts tax that amounts to an extra 12.5 cents on every $100 purchase.The County Commission unanimously approved the tax last night after hours of tearful testimony and a November county-wide advisory vote that favored it. The commission balked at unilaterally imposing an additional 1/16 tax, though. That question is headed to voters in a special election anticipated in early September. 

NM health insurers ask for higher premium rates
The few companies that sell individual policies on New Mexico's health insurance exchange anticipate rate hikes of at least 21 percent next year. They could be as high as 85 percent. Insurance companies have finalized their initial proposals, but those could change depending on the fate of the Republican health care plan in Washington, DC. 

Mayor names public banking panel
Javier Gonzales picked nine names from more than 27 people who applied to sit on the city's public banking panel. The City Council is expected to approve them tonight. Over the next six months, the group will chart a course for the creation of a public bank in Santa Fe. The idea, which local bankers aren't wild about because of the new competition, is to use the city's millions to stimulate investment in the Santa Fe economy. 

Take a look at the haze on the horizon and it's easy to feel like this is another fire season like so many others we've had: hot and filled with blazes that could blow up at any time and give New Mexico its next 100,000-acre monster. But so far, predictions for a mild fire season have held up. SFR explores how incident commanders are trying to manage fire when they can, instead of trying to extinguish it.

Bureaucratic shuffle
A broad reorganization at the US Department of the Interior has the potential to throw federal interactions in New Mexico into disarray. The state's relationship with higher-ups at the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs are all in the midst of reassignments as the Trump administration shuffles career agency workers to make room for political appointees. NM Political Report explains it has a familiar feel.

District dance
Okay, it's really a district shuffle, but that would be two shuffle headlines in a row. Let's just say we don't talk about what could happen to people who make that mistake. Anyhow, New Mexico's political districts, both legislative and congressional, seem to be pretty stable, according to an Associated Press analysis. That stands in stark comparison to the redistricting debates taking place across the country.

Taos hotel plan shortened
A proposed four-story Holiday Inn Express could be redesigned as a shorter building, a developer told the Town Council last night. The building could have been the tallest in town and many in the community balked at its presence. Supporters say more hotel rooms would ease the short-term rental market and provide more affordable housing for Taoseños. The town will revisit the issue in August after it gets a look at new plans.

Thanks for reading! The Word thinks there's little better than a cool New Mexico summer morning. Enjoy it, or get here soon.

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