I attended the Albuquerque City Council meeting last night (see screen shot below) which included a debate over direct taxpayer subsidies for TopGolf.
To say the least, the ignorance of basic economics among some commenters and the vast majority on City Council was sad and frustrating. This City Council back in March voted overwhelmingly to pass a 3/8th cent tax hike that will take effect on July 1, raising the local rate to 7.875%.
Despite the tax hike being passed due to “an emergency preventing the hiring of enough police officers” the Council saw fit to spend $2.6 million in incentives to bring the company to town.
Many commenting and on Council claimed that they are “creating jobs” by offering the subsidies. Of course, the money being offered to TopGolf comes from you and I (the taxpayers), so if Council actually wanted to “create” jobs they would have voted to rescind the tax hike.
The only two people who showed any leadership or backbone in the entire affair were Mayor Tim Keller who led the opposition to the proposal and Councilor Don Harris who voted “no” due to the generosity of the subsidies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Albuquerque STILL has fewer jobs 397,000 than it did in October 2008 (399,300). Between the ART debacle, rising taxes, and unresponsive City government, it is not a surprise that Albuquerque’s economy remains weak despite the nation’s strong economic growth.