It’s an old magician’s trick. While folks are distracted by something else perform your sleight of hand. This is exactly what the Albuquerque City Council has planned for Monday’s meeting:
I see in the Journal this morning that Mayor Chavez and the City Council are considering making the transportation tax the voters passed after I campaigned for it as Mayor in 1999 into a permanent tax. I had to take that tax to the voters and after an all out assault by Republican city councillors we ended up winning by about 1000 votes. The tax has modernized our transit system, reinvested in our streets in the older parts of the city, and fixed deficiencies generally around Albuquerque. Mayor Chavez has done a good job of following up on this. Now, because of an improving economy the 1/4 cent tax has ballooned in dollars received and there is talk of a street car system up and down Central Avenue. Go for it!
Ok, first thanks to Jim Baca for illustrating exactly why he shouldn’t be elected to Commissioner of Public Lands. Anyone who thinks that a street car system to go up and down Central is a priority should not be running our land office.
Now reread that paragraph written by Mr. Baca. This tax was originally sold to the taxpayers as a means of modernizing the transit system and fixing streets, and it has done that. The tax has also “ballooned in dollars received.” In other words, it brought in a lot more than expected. Yet, rather than let the temporary tax sunset, the Mayor and City Council want to make it a permanent tax while no one is looking.
It’s the old bait and switch, and it is blatantly UNETHICAL.