Santa Fe City councilors are looking for a way to pay for capital projects as the city hammers out its budget for the next fiscal year.
Councilor Peter Ives tells SFR he’s thinking about a measure that would increase property taxes to pay for core services. “I’m looking broadly across the budget,” he says, noting that he’s considering revenue streams to pay for such projects as a fire station in the area the city recently annexed from the county.
The current fiscal year ends June 30, and the 2015 budget represents the first test for a fresh set of city councilors and newly elected Mayor Javier Gonzales as they deal with providing services for an extra 4,445 households added to the city as a part of the annexation.
Councilors will also vote on whether to approve public works projects such as upgrades to trails and parks. For example, officials want to rehab $326,000 worth of pavement on Santa Fe Trail and say they need $56,000 for the Gail Ryba Trail for a total of $382,000—money that would come out of the $14 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2012.
Councilors will also weigh whether to borrow $18 million via a new proposed capital improvement bond. As opposed to general obligation bonds, capital improvement bonds don’t have to be approved by voters. The bond, repaid through existing tax increments, would pay for projects like repairs to intersections at St. Francis Drive and Zia Road; repairs to 40 city buildings and equipment for city recreation centers.