City of Albuquerque can’t cut taxes, instead grows city government by 20%

The City of Albuquerque may be “new and improved” as of last November, but a majority on City Council seem to believe that spending more money is the path to success. On Monday night the Council on a 7-2 vote passed a budget with an increase of 20%. Only Dan Lewis and Rene Grout voted “no.”

As the Journal article points out, “The budget includes 5% pay hikes for city workers – plus additional one-time incentives of up to $2,000 per employee – and significantly ups spending on rental support.”

Councilor Brook Bassan cited inflation as one of the causes of the massive budget uptick, but the final budget passed by Council is a shocking $15 million higher than the fiscal year 2023 proposal Mayor Tim Keller. The total city budget will total about $1.4 billion. The Keller administration estimates having over $100 million more in gross receipts tax to spend in 2023 than it budgeted for this year.

Alas, in February on a 1-8 vote, Council rejected a minimal 1/8 cent gross receipts tax reduction which would have reduced GRT taxes by $20 million dollars annually. Simply adhering to the Mayor’s budget outline and eliminating “free” bus service at a “cost” of $3 million would have nearly generated enough savings to reduce taxes.

Unfortunately, Albuquerque’s City Council seems more concerned about taking care of its own rather than helping average New Mexicans.

UPDATE: While not a large portion of the overall bill, the Council saw fit to add $250,000 to the budget to fund abortion provider Planned Parenthood through a “Council-directed sponsorship.” This has not been done in the past and the seemingly no-strings-attached nature of the grant raises all kinds of concerns from both moral and policy perspectives.

Spending Chart Graph Shows Increasing Expenditure Purchasing Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 26961701.