Albuquerque Public Schools is “hiding” a property tax increase on your ballot

Have you heard about the property tax hike on ballots in areas served by Albuquerque Public Schools this fall? We took a pretty close look at the APS website and saw no mention of it. We haven’t seen ANY coverage in the local media either. (If you have, send it to us at: info@riograndefoundation.org).

Voters need to be armed with this information when early voting begins on October 5.

UPDATE: According to the ABQ Journal Wednesday, October 6, the proposal does not increase property tax but will continue an existing tax costing $630 million over the next six years. 

Here’s the language directly from this fall’s ballot:

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United releases TV ad on stadium: understanding bonds and taxes

In their quest for a new soccer stadium, the New Mexico United have released a new TV ad. We haven’t seen the ad on local TV yet, but you can see it for yourself in this KOAT 7 story. RGF president Paul Gessing adds a bit of balance to the story near the end.

Aside from the usual claims about “jobs” and civic pride the ad relies heavily on the idea that the ballot measure is a “bond” that doesn’t raise taxes. Of course, that is akin to saying that a family should put all of its spending on a credit card because they aren’t actually spending anything right away.

Bonds require taxes in order to be paid off. In this case it is going to require gross receipts tax revenues. And, other priorities like law enforcement and roads will receive fewer dollars than they otherwise would. Finally, of course, taxes COULD go down in the absent of the stadium.

 

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A laugh at the expense of battery powered cars

Funny stuff from Saturday Night Live a few years back. While your basic AA battery won’t wind up in your car, the idea that battery-powered cars are somehow inherently “green” or that a massive shift of our electrical grid to “renewables” with massive battery backup makes sense or is good for the environment are myths.

Check out the following and enjoy a good laugh while realizing that the underlying issue is very serious:

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Tipping Point Episode 339 Vaccination Not Required at Balloon Fiesta, Will Europe’s Energy Crisis Spread?, Why Joe Biden is worse than Jimmy Carter

The Balloon Fiesta pushed back against MLG by NOT requiring vaccines. MLG was NOT amused.

Pfizer booster shots now available to some “at-risk” groups. Biden received his already while wearing a MASK.

The FDA pushed back against “universal” booster which directly contradicted Biden Administration statements.

The political wrangling between the Biden Administration, the FDA, and the CDC has been fascinating.

Comparing Blue and Red States economically.

Europe is facing an energy crisis driven by “green” politics on energy.

Paul wrote a piece for National Review in which he discussed why Joe Biden is worse than Jimmy Carter.

Down in the polls the United Soccer team’s ownership puts up some cash for their proposed stadium. Is it enough?

40% increase in teacher retirement, but why? Paul and Wally discuss.

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Europe concerned over energy crisis abroad, Haaland pursues limits on fossil fuel extraction

Numerous articles in major publications like Bloomberg are contemplating a serious energy crisis in Europe.  Here is one of many choice quotes:

Nations are more reliant than ever on natural gas to heat homes and power industries amid efforts to quit coal and increase the use of cleaner energy sources. But there isn’t enough gas to fuel the post-pandemic recovery and refill depleted stocks before the cold months. Countries are trying to outbid one another for supplies as exporters such as Russia move to keep more natural gas home. The crunch will get a lot worse when temperatures drop.

Unsurprisingly this crisis is being driven by Europe’s abandonment of traditional sources of energy. Japan and China have bought up much of the LNG that can be exported from the US and Russia simply isn’t willing (or able) to export what Europe would like to purchase.

All of this should be a warning for the United States and especially “green” politicians like Joe Biden and Michelle Lujan Grisham (to name just two). But Interior Secretary and radical environmentalist Deb Haaland made some disturbing comments this week and more importantly, while the federal land leasing moratorium was invalidated, the Administration continues to limit oil and gas drilling on federal lands. According to the article, “the number of permits the agency issued for oil and gas drilling in mostly western federal lands has declined to 171 in August from 671 in April.”

So, at a time of increasing energy demand and potential for the US (and New Mexico) to step up in ways that benefit both our European allies and our own economy, Biden and Haaland are working to limit energy supplies.

 

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Comparing Big Blue and Big Red (states, that is)

As the “Great Sort” continues, Americans (driven in part by COVID policy, but also various economic and education concerns) are moving to states that better reflect those preferences.

The following chart was put together by Vance Ginn, an economist with Texas Public Policy Foundation (our much bigger, sister think tank in Texas). It compares and contrasts major “red” states Texas and Florida with major “blue” states California and New York. You can see the comparison for yourself here.

Furthermore, according to Ginn’s analysis it is actually non-native-born Texans who are keeping the state “red.” In other words, people who are attracted to things like a zero income tax, low tax burdens, and high levels of economic freedom have self-selected to move to Texas, thereby keeping those policies in place through their voting behavior.

Check out the additional polling data cited by Ginn here.

In the hard-fought Senate race between Senator ed Cruz (who had moved to Texas) and then- Representative Beto O’Rourke (a Texas native, natives preferred O’Rourke by plus-3 points, whereas movers favored Cruz by plus-15 points. Cruz won the race by 2.6 percentage points, meaning that if it were up to people who were Texans by birth, Cruz would have lost reelection.

Texas Public Policy Foundation (PPF) has conducted polls of registered voters to test attitudes between natives and non-natives. Its January 2020 poll of 800 registered voters found native Texans supported President Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 7-point margin compared to transplants, who supported Trump by a 12-point margin. TPPF’s polling found there was no statistical difference in voter preferences for either former President Trump or President Joe Biden in the 2020 election among natives versus non-natives.

PS: RGF is working on a similar analysis that adds New Mexico to the mix.

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With your gun rights again in the Legislature’s sights, the NRA is hosting meetings statewide starting this weekend

The NRA-ILA team, along with the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association, will be conducting a series of grassroots meetings across New Mexico the last week of September and first week of October.  During these meetings, discussions will address how anti-gun state lawmakers plan to continue their attack on law-abiding gun owners by pursuing mandatory gun storage proposals and limits on magazine capacity in the upcoming 30-day legislative session, beginning in January of 2022.  Please make plans to attend and find out how you can help stop further restrictions on your rights in the Roundhouse!

Dates, times and locations can be found below these RSVP links:

Farmington September 27:
https://www.nrailafrontlines.com/nra_ila_grassroots_meeting_in_farmington

Moriarty September 28:
https://www.nrailafrontlines.com/nra_ila_grassroots_meeting_in_moriarty

Santa Fe September 30:
https://www.nrailafrontlines.com/nra_ila_grassroots_meeting_in_santa_fe

Las Cruces October 2:
https://www.nrailafrontlines.com/nra_ila_grassroots_meeting_in_lc

Rio Rancho October 3:
https://www.nrailafrontlines.com/nra_ila_grassroots_meeting_in_rio_rancho

Albuquerque October 4: 
https://www.nrailafrontlines.com/nra_ila_grassroots_meeting_in_albuquerque

Socorro October 5:
https://www.nrailafrontlines.com/nra_ila_grassroots_meeting_in_socorro

 

Monday, September 27
Farmington, NM
San Juan Wildlife Federation Clubhouse
5652 US Hwy 64
7:30pm

Tuesday, September 28
Moriarty, NM
Moriarty Civic Center
202 Broadway
7:00pm

Thursday, September 30
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe County GOP Headquarters
1225 Parkway Drive Suite C
7:00pm

Saturday, October 2
Las Cruces, NM
Strykers Shooting World
415 S Valley Drive
9:00am

Sunday, October 3
Rio Rancho, NM
Del Norte Gun Club
209 Torcido Road NW
10:00am

Monday, October 4
Albuquerque, NM
Calibers Shooting Sports Center
4340 Cutler Ave NE
7:00pm

Tuesday, October 5
Socorro, NM
St. Paul’s Methodist Fellowship Hall
1000 Goad Street
7:30pm

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RGF President reacts to United pledge of financial support for new stadium on KOAT Channel 7

With Albuquerque voters largely skeptical of the proposed taxpayer-funded United Soccer Stadium, the team has decided to pledge $10 million towards the facility. 

RGF’s president Paul Gessing weighs in on this development in this story. Gessing’s comment for this story is limited to saying that the team should fund “a majority” of the stadium that will cost at least $70 million and will likely cost up to $100 million based on numerous unknown factors including construction materials and the unknown location of the proposed stadium.

Needless to say $10 million is nowhere near half of the stadium’s cost.

Of course, there remain so many unknowns surrounding this project including the actual site. The Foundation has previously discussed numerous additional issues with the proposed facility. 

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Episode 338 Rob Nikolewski – California Energy, Politics and more

On this week’s episode, Paul interviews Rob Nikolewski. Rob is currently an energy reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Previously he covered the New Mexico Legislature for Capitol Report New Mexico, a project of the Rio Grande Foundation.

Paul and Rob briefly discuss his prior coverage of recently-indicted Rep. Sheryl Williams-Stapleton.

The two also discuss the recent California recall election and prospective challengers to Gov. Newsome in the 2022 General Election.
Finally, the two discuss ongoing energy (especially electricity issues) going on in California AND similar challenges facing New Mexico. Particularly, Rob addresses the recent decision by Gov. Newsome to open and reopen several natural gas electricity generation facilities.

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337 Natural Gas Prices Hit 12-Year High, Soccer Stadium or Police, Zero-Cost Bus Fares and more

Natural gas price hits the highest level in 12 years.  According to the LFC, a 10 cent increase in the price per thousand cubic feet of natural gas translates into $15 million in additional revenue (and it’s not even winter yet!):

Where does New Mexico’s electricity come from? 

Rep. Williams Stapleton indicted on 26 charges.

The Biden Administration wants the IRS to know A LOT more about your personal finances. 

State law targets liquor sales at gas stations, so they stopped selling gas. 

Federal Reserve data show inflation is eating up those pay hikes.

PED secretary profiled in Journal. High aspirations, but doesn’t seem inclined/willing to embrace dramatic reform ideas.

One of the United Soccer team’s preferred stadium sites appears to be not for sale.  Of course, you can use the $50 million for the United stadium for cops instead.

ABQ embraces zero-cost bus fares.

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