It Takes ‘Real Leadership and Courage’ to Raise Taxes?


Failed mayoral candidate Pete Dinelli has an op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal today, gushing about the “real leadership and courage” displayed by the voters who hiked their city’s gross receipts tax last week.

Dinelli whines that there was “absolutely no support from the business community and lukewarm support from a few city councilors” for the GRT increase, but he ignores the massive lobbying effort mounted by the New Mexico BioPark Society. When a dedicated group pushes an initiative in the face of zero organized opposition, a big win is usually guaranteed, particularly in a municipal election. But opponents of the tax hikeĀ grabbed 43.5 percent of the vote — hardly a ringing endorsement.

In addition, as Dinelli admits, turnout was abysmal. The Journal reports that it was lower “than in any citywide election since 1974, when Albuquerque’s modern form of government started.” Is there a giant reservoir of support by Duke City voters for a higher GRT to fund the BioPark? The truth is, we don’t know. One things’s for sure: With locals leaving, it’s clear that whatever Albuquerque’s political establishment is doing to enhance “quality of life” isn’t working.