Friday, 15 January 2016 16:45

CNM Bond Will Raise Property Taxes

The Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) Bond Election is February 2. The Early Voting sites are open now until January 30.

Early voting locations

Bond election – February 2 – locations

Here’s some important information you will not see on the ballot: Passing the 2016 CNM $84 million Bond will nearly double the property tax capital mil levy rate for Bernalillo and (surrounding area) Sandoval County.

If passed, this bond issue will raise property taxes! It would raise CNM Capital Mil Levy from .55 to 1.0 and increase all property taxes in Bernalillo County, Rio Rancho, Corrales and other parts of Sandoval County. The increase from the bond issue would raise the rate for a $200,000 home from 35.57 to $64.67.

CNM student enrollment has declined from a high of 29,948 in 2010 to 25,000 students (according to the 2014-15 CNM Annual Report.) And even though CNM has 7 different locations within 30 minutes of each other, some of the proposed uses for the requested $84 million will be to erect more buildings and remodel others.

CNM says they have not asked for a tax increase since 1996. FACT is county assessors raise the value on properties 3 percent each year so the amount of tax paid increases even in down real estate markets.

Help us let Bernalillo County, Rio Rancho and Corrales property owners know that their taxes will go up if the CNM Bond is passed. Your $5 donation will help NMBC get the word out.

Here are a few other relevant facts voters should consider before voting on the CNM $84 million bond issue: CNM got voter approval for $70 million in 2011 for “…the purpose of erecting, furnishing, constructing, purchasing, remodeling, and equipping buildings and utility facilities and making other real property improvements or purchasing grounds throughout the CNM District.” CNM also received $60 million from taxpayers in 2006. But voters do sometimes say no, like they did on a $150 million dollar bond request on November 2, 2010.

Did you know that New Mexico has a total of 33 college campuses? That includes 7 colleges with 17 locations offering four year degrees and 10 colleges with 16 campuses offering two year degrees. With all those educational facilities, you’d think New Mexico would be at the top of the nation for education, right? Maybe if we put more money into actually educating our children and college students instead of overbuilding facilities, we might be.

For comparison: Arizona, with a 2013 population of over 6.6 million people, has only 3 colleges offering four year degrees. New Mexico’s 2013 population was less than 2.1 million people. How does New Mexico, one of the poorest states in the nation, justify over double the number of four year institutes with less than one third the population compared to Arizona?

Why do we continue to fund this expansion? Don’t forget that once you build it, you must staff it, maintain it, insure it, . . . etc.

Bernalillo and Sandoval County property owners should be told their taxes will go up if the CNM Bond is passed. Your $5 donation will help NMBC get the word out.

Early Voting is open now until January 30 at five locations – more information HERE. Election day is February 2, with 30 voting sites available – more information HERE.

Also on the ballot are two other issues: 1) An APS Mil Levy request to keep the rate at the current level through 2021; and 2) An APS $200,000 million bond request. APS has said if voters approve the mil levy continuation or the $200,000 million bond request, it will not raise property taxes. What would happen if voters reject one or both items?

So there’s no misunderstanding, here’s clarification of NMBC’s position: NMBC generally believes there is too much fraud, waste and abuse in government (including our education system) and the quickest way to stop it is to stop the flow of taxpayer money to fund it. For that reason, NMBC encourages voters to carefully consider the impact of every bond issue. In the rare cases where voters reject a bond issue (like the $150 million General Obligation Bond for Higher Education that voters defeated in 2010), elected officials and university directors take notice of public opinion.

The NMBC understands bond issues provide for improvement of government facilities and often provide jobs.

We don’t oppose either, but encourage voters to consider the true need and value of any bond issue before voting.

Please contact the NMBC with questions or comments at nmbiz@nmbizcoalition.org or (505) 836-4223.

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