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Now That’s an Interesting Campaign Strategy

Let me see if I understand this correctly. Mayor Martin Chavez successfully fought to have term limits removed, so he can run for a third consecutive term as Mayor. We know that this year, the City of Albuquerque is looking at a $20 million dollar budget shortfall because of the Mayor’s spending sprees. We know that in all likelihood that budget deficit could double over the next fiscal year. Finally, we know that a temporary transportation tax that barely passed when it was introduced is set to sunset. And, now we learn:

Mayor Martin Chávez says he will ask city councilors to send renewal of the quarter-cent transportation tax before voters this fall, even though it won’t be in time to keep revenue from the tax flowing uninterrupted.

The 10-year tax expires at the end of this year. If approved by voters in October, however, the renewal couldn’t take effect until July 1 because of state rules on when the tax rate can be changed.

Chávez said Monday that the city can absorb the break in revenue. That’s because revenue from the tax has generally grown faster than expected over the years, building up a balance in the “transportation infrastructure” fund.

Okay, I must be missing something. I’m trying really hard here to understand how this campaign platform is going to work: “Re-elect Mayor Martin Chavez, he promises to raise your taxes.”

Let’s be clear here. Not letting a temporary tax sunset is a tax increase. No if, ands or buts about it. In fact, Mayor Martin Chavez has been pushing this tax increase for going on three years now. First, he tried to slide it through when he though no one was looking. And, then he has tried every trick in the politicians playbook to make people think it is a good idea.

Maybe I’m not being fair here. The Mayor has not just limited himself to raising taxes. He wants to increase spending at the same time on “big” ideas with little merit.