Council Gives Taxpayers Half a Loaf

After months of discussion and delay Albuquerque’s City Council finally repealed the November tax hike/extension for Mayor Chavez’s trolley. Theoretically-speaking, the quarter-cent hike in the gross receipts tax will now expire in 2009 as voters originally gave approval for in 1999. As Dr. Messenheimer and I have pointed out, because of its unique nature, even small hikes in the gross receipts tax can create large amounts of revenue and significant economic harm.
Council unfortunately did not approve an amendment that would have given voters final say on any proposed streetcar, so the victory is not complete. Worse, a rigged “study” of the project will now be funded that — due to its makeup — will undoubtedly produce recommendations attempting to justify the project.
Council will most certainly not let this tax expire without a fight, but at least round one goes to taxpayers.