Mayor Berry: Time to Stand Against Convention Center/Arena Boondoggle

City Council (minus Dan Lewis and perhaps Brad Winter) is obsessed with wasting $400 million of your tax dollars on a convention center expansion. At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Council voted 7-1 with Lewis opposing and Winter abstaining to ask the mayor to enter into an agreement with Albuquerque Public Schools to secure at least part of the First Baptist Church property for the events center/convention center expansion. APS is already moving forward with an $11.3 million offer for the site (a questionable deal in and of itself), at Broadway and Central, for use as a fine arts magnet school and performing arts charter school.

The City needs to expand its convention center about as much as we need higher taxes in this down economy. Oops, we’ve already got that. It’s just that a majority of the Council thinks 7% gross receipts tax is just too low. Effective July 1, 2010 our tax rate will increase from 6.625% to 7% for previously-enacted tax hikes. As we’ve pointed out in the past, the gross receipts is the worst tax imaginable.

The case against these projects is compelling from the left and the right. But plenty of special interests are pushing the issue and will not back down until the Mayor takes a firm stand for fiscal restraint and against higher taxes. Tell him what you think by clicking here.