“Lame duck” Albuquerque City Council is at it again. Fresh off a big giveaway to local labor unions, the “lame duck” progressives on city council are pushing a big subsidy for the University of New Mexico. Specifically, the subsidy is for redevelopment of property and the subsidy would be given to the university’s “redevelopment corporation.”
The vehicle for the subsidy is a “Tax Increment Development District,” or TIDD.
The deal works like this: Albuquerque diverts future property tax revenue increases from a defined area within the city toward the UNM improvement project. Because the subsidy is not appropriated directly from the city’s budget, the city will incur the immediate loss through forgone tax revenue. The funding is created by the borrowing against future increases in property-tax revenues. Long story short, it’s a bad idea: taxpayers and property owners all draw the short straw while UNM sees a major influx of cash.
Being considered is 2,491,300 square feet of building improvements–with $136,500,000 of $300,000,000 being tax-exempt and subsidized. This directly benefits UNM and its development arm at the expense of taxpayers throughout the city. Why is $136 million in “building improvements” being given to a tax-exempt university? Isn’t that the purpose of the bonds we already vote for?
The issue is being considered by vote of the city council on December 20th and I need you to write an email to Albuquerque City Council to urge their opposition to the deal. I’ve already drafted the email for you: all you need to do is click on the link and press send.
Or you can write your own message using firstname.lastname@example.org. This email gets forwarded to all members of the city council.
A local activist has been working with the Rio Grande Foundation on this issue. He wrote an article in the Albuquerque Journal that identifies the major concerns with the proposal. I encourage you to read his piece here. (https://www.abqjournal.com/
Help us stop this “lame duck” Council from pushing through even more bad policy on its way out the door!