This week registered voters in the Albuquerque Public Schools district will receive a ballot in the mail requesting an increase in property taxes to support rebuilding and repairing schools. Voters will have until Tuesday, February 5th to return their ballots.
GAAR Board of Directors recently discussed this important issue and decided that the best approach would be to educate members about both sides of the issue. Former New Mexico Senator, Mark Boitano and APS Executive Director of the Capital Master Plan, Kizito Wijenje were asked to prepare a summary supporting their side of the issue. See what each had to say.
"APS property tax hike doesn't make the grade" by Mark Boitano
Has Albuquerque Public Schools merited a 20 percent increase in your property taxes? Voters can answer that question during a mail-in election beginning Jan. 8 when ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in the APS school district. The ballots are due Feb. 5.
Depending on where you live in the Albuquerque Metro area, there are seven to nine governmental entities that collect portions of your property taxes. APS is one of them and, according to the Bernalillo County Assessor’s website, it presently collects 25 percent of your property taxes each year. APS is asking voters to support three measures, one asks for a nearly 20 percent increase in APS’ share of property taxes for the next six years, from 10.473 mills to 12.450 mills. Additionally, APS is asking for a renewal of a 2-mill levy that will generate $190 million and a $200 million bond issue that is not paid for with property taxes. Materials circulated by APS say a “yes” vote results in a 4.7 percent increase to your overall tax bill, but the increase in the APS share is over 19 percent. Be mindful that not one penny of these monies are for operating costs like teacher’s salaries; these tax dollars are used for APS capital costs. CLICK TO READ MORE.
"Vote For Our Children's Future" by Kizito Wijenje
Albuquerque and NM have been stuck in the pit of economic recession for almost a decade. This has resulted in a loss of population, especially young promising and able bodied families who have moved out of state in droves in search of greener economic pastures out of state. Businesses have consequently suffered, especially the home construction industry which went from a high of over 1,000 new homes a month to a low of 700 new homes a year. The upcoming APS School Bond election is a major step in breaking the current cycle of economic downturn because if passed, it will inject close to a $1 billion into the local construction economy not only generating jobs to keep our young families here, but also catalyzing businesses especially home ownership since many more citizens will have good jobs and be eligible to qualify for mortgages. The passage of this bond will also be a major investment in the safety, security, and education of our children as well as an indication that Albuquerque believes in its public institutions and is ready to be open for business again. The website will show that past promises have been kept and previously approved school bonds have been used for what the tax payer voted for. It is time to have people once again come to Albuquerque for jobs and not our children leaving due to lack of jobs
I ask all citizens to carefully look at the facts as they consider their vote, and then go vote based on the facts. Vote for safety, vote for security, vote for an investment into our children’s and our communities future! CLICK TO SEE MORE