The “Money Pit” New Mexico style

Several years ago, Eclipse Aviation received a taxpayer-financed infusion of $19 million via the State Investment Council. A few years ago, that money was gone, Eclipse Aviation was bankrupt with taxpayers holding the bag and nothing but a few buildings left.

Recently, the Bernalillo County Commission voted unanimously to approve $30 million in “Industrial Revenue Bonds” to allow New Mexico Food Distributors Inc. to expand in Albuquerque without paying property tax for 20 years. The chosen facility (soon to make tortillas and other New Mexican food), none other than the old Eclipse factory.

One hopes that the second time around with this factory goes better than the first. The good news is that New Mexican food has a longer track record of sales success than did Eclipse. The $30 million is also a tax break, not an outright giveaway. But, asking local taxpayers to pony up another $30 million to abate taxes on a property for which state taxpayers already spent $19 million is a bitter pill to swallow indeed.

Perhaps it is a sign that New Mexico needs serious tax reform so as to be more competitive without all the special tax breaks and giveaways?

HT: Rob Nikolewski