There is a measure on the ballot (subscription) that calls for a 3/16 of a percent increase of the gross receipts tax. This may seem like pennies, but this is not an insignificant tax. Instead, this is a misguided $300 million tax increase coming right on the heels of a $300 million property tax increase.
Proponents say 65% of the tax is earmarked for Albuquerque museums and zoos, and that this effort was started six years ago when there was a budget crunch. The thing is, there is NO BUDGET CRUNCH today. Albuquerque, like cities all over New Mexico, has enjoyed unprecedented budget growth due to the significant gross receipts tax increases that have already occurred in the last three years.
Proponents say this is a 10 year tax increase that will be phased out. Yet, we all know that our government HATES to let any revenue stream phase out . Just look at what the City is about to do to a transportation tax which is currently scheduled to expire.
Proponents say this is a tool for economic development. I’m not buying what they are selling, and neither will any business that is considering moving to New Mexico. Businesses do not seek to relocate to environments where they know their taxes will go up every year like clockwork.
Proponents are saying this will help the poor have access to more cultural amenities. Yet, this is a gross receipts tax increase. Gross receipts taxes are regressive – they hit the poorest amongst us the hardest! [NOTE: That last link is to an article when the gross receipts tax was 5.7%. The current proposal would put the City of Albuquerque OVER 7%].
Opponents to this tax increase, say, “NO!” and so should you.