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New Taxes Proposed Despite Record Surpluses

You’ve got to love the logic here. The tax revenue has increased every year that Governor Richardson has been in office. The Governor and the legislature have found a way to spend every penny of it, and this year we are projected to have a surplus of over $1.5 billion. Yet, UNM leaders came up with the following proposals during a recent summit (subscription):

  • A quarter-cent statewide gross receipts tax to compensate hospitals for the cost of treating indigent and uninsured patients. The tax would raise an estimated $110 million a year.
  • A half-cent gross receipt tax for Bernalillo County to compensate UNMH for the cost of indigent county patients. It would raise an estimated $65 million a year and replace an existing property tax.
  • A $13.2 million appropriation to hire an additional 30 physicians and raise salaries for medical school faculty.
  • A $40.4 million capital outlay request to pay for buildings, equipment and maintenance costs at the Health Sciences Center.

Now this call for raising taxes comes at the same time that the Richardson administration is spending $75 million to buy unneeded tracks for a rail system. Of course, we all know how profitable government run rail systems can be, so you can bet there will be tens if not hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds required for operation of this system.

Enough is enough.