New Mexico faces a potential 35.7% budget decrease ($2 billion out of a $7.6 billion budget). The budget plans to spend $342 million with $172 million of that coming from volatile gross receipts tax revenues which will undoubtedly be down even by the time the budget begins on July 1.
Local governments across our State will likely face big shortfalls from the economic shutdown relating to the virus alone, let alone the massive decline in oil prices.
But Bernalillo County just passed what can only be described as a shocking 7% budget increase. Yes, as noted in the article, commissioners can redo the budget as financial conditions warrant, but why even pass a budget that is dead on arrival?
Instead of passing an unrealistic budget, Bernalillo County and other local governments should be eliminating wages passed in recent years and considering ways to eliminate fat and overspending in what will undoubtedly be a very difficult time.