The vote on whether to reduce Rio Rancho’s gross receipts tax by 1/8th is tomorrow and Councilor Tim Crum, one of the conservative majority, has made what we think is the correct call: he’s still endorsing the tax cut on the ballot, but is not committing to support the subsequent 1/8th cent tax hike to fund police and fire that is being planned by his fellow majority on City Council.
This is largely what we endorsed in a recent blog posting and article that appeared in the Observer. Hopefully, other Councilors will support Crum’s position.
Proponents of the tax hike (including the fire and police unions) claim that more police and fire are needed. That may be true, but those are the absolute CORE functions of government. If Rio Rancho needs more cops and fire fighters, they need to eliminate other government functions, not raise taxes. Besides, more cops don’t necessarily equal less crime. In this article which appeared over the weekend in the Albuquerque Journal, it is noted that as the size of Albuquerque’s police department has shrunk, the crime rate has declined. Before blindly pouring more money into cops in particular, shouldn’t we get a better grip on what is really needed in terms of crime and criminal justice needs?