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A Bad Precedent

A follow up to my last post as reported in today’s Albuquerque Journal (subscription):

Voters were supposed to decide last November whether to renew the open-space tax, which amounts to about $8 a year on a $100,000 home. The tax had been approved at the polls in 1998 and 2000 but expires this year.

County administrators, however, forgot to put renewal of the tax on the Nov. 7 ballot last year.

The commission’s vote Tuesday imposes the tax at a reduced rate. It will now amount to $3 a year on a home valued at $100,000 and will generate about $1.1 million a year. The existing tax has been generating around $2.5 million a year.

It will remain in place until it can be put before voters in November 2008, county officials said.

Voting in favor of the budget package, which included the tax, were commissioners Alan Armijo, Tim Cummins, Teresa Córdova and Deanna Archuleta.

Michael Brasher voted against it. He said he had questions about whether the county had solicited public comment in developing the budget.

Brasher also said he had concerns about whether the tax is needed immediately, as the county’s open-space fund already has a balance of about $9 million available.

Is Michael Brasher the only sane voice on the Commission? I believe the answer is a resounding, “YES.”