No need to raise property taxes in Bernalillo County

At tonight’s Bernalillo County Commission meeting, commissioners will be voting to put a $1.5 million property tax hike on the ballot. As the story below indicates, if approved, the tax hike will go to pay for “open space.”

There are several reasons to vote against a tax hike including the ongoing poor economic conditions in the Albuquerque Metro area, much of which is within Bernalillo County. Our city was recently ranked 360 out of 379 on several economic indicators. I’m sure a tax hike will not help turn around our economy.

Albuquerque already has the heaviest property tax burden of any city in the State. As of 2012, the millage rate (the rate at which property is taxed) for average property owners exceeded 41. The next highest rate in New Mexico was Rio Rancho’s 35. After that, Santa Fe weighed in with a paltry 20. Albuquerque residents also bear a property tax burden that is 20 percent heavier than the next-highest New Mexico city.

Lastly, Bernalillo County already spends $1.2 million annually on open space. If adopted, will County residents actually see any additional open space or is this simply a tax hike designed to increase overall spending or cover for recent financial troubles.