County Regional Transit Gross Receipts Tax Question
SFR Pick: Approve
Santa Fe County voters are being asked to approve a 0.125 percent tax increase for the operation and capital-improvement costs for the North Central Regional Transit District.
Santa Fe County Commissioner Jack Sullivan recently argued the tax is unfair and regressive [Oct. 15: “The $80 million question”]. Sullivan makes some decent points and, certainly, we’d be the last to argue that the political and financial conditions that brought us to this point are perfect. But we’d also be strapped to envision any alternative scenarios to this proposal that would be perfect or completed in any way timely. This is the plan as it stands now, and it has taken a lot of work and political will to get this far. Supporting regional transit has long been a goal of both citizens and their representatives, and it’s time to move forward.
Santa Fe County and New Mexico Bonds
There are six bond questions on the ballot for Santa Fe County, totaling approximately $35 million worth of projects. These bonds won’t raise property taxes because the county is retiring old bonds.
There also are four general state bonds totalling $223 million. If all four pass, it is estimated that property taxes, over the next decade, will rise by an average of $15.61 per $100,000 of assets.
Assuming the apocalypse isn’t imminent, we will still need roads and libraries and senior centers, so we approve all the bonding measures on this year’s ballot, which break down as follows:
SFR Pick: Approve All
No. 1: $3.5 million for the county’s Open Space and Trails Program to acquire and develop the river corridor along approximately eight miles of the Santa Fe River from Camino Alire to NM 599.
No. 2: $15.5 million for six road improvement projects on Agua Fria Street, South Meadows, County Roads 42 and 84, Caja del Rio and Avenida Vista Grande in Eldorado.
No. 3: $5 million for fire safety improvements, including a new fire station in Rancho Viejo and a firefighter training academy in Stanley.
No. 4: $8 million for regional water projects.
No. 5: $1.5 million for waste transfer station needs.
No. 6: $1.5 million to construct a new building for the Santa Fe County Agricultural Extension Program at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds.
SFR Pick: Approve All
Bond Question A: Approximately $14 million for senior citizens center construction and improvements statewide, including numerous ones in Santa Fe County.
Bond Question B: Approximately $11 million for libraries statewide, including approximately $500,000 in Santa Fe.
Bond Question C: Approximately $57 million for cancer treatment and other health facilities.
Bond Question D: Approximately $140 million for capital improvement, and acquisitions for higher health and special school facilities, including $4.2 million for a technology center at Santa Fe Community College, $3 million for New Mexico School for the Deaf, and $500,000 for a science/technology, art and culture center at the Institute of American Indian Arts.