The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Mar 18, 2009

1/4 Cent for Your Thoughts

November 6th, 2006... the day before the election where Democrats took over both the House and Senate, the Albuquerque City Council passed an extension to the Transportation Infrastructure Tax. The Council and the Almighty Alcalde used the cover of the election to rail road the public and shove a tax hike through for the primary purpose of building Marty's little train.

The move outraged the public and a huge political brouhaha ensued. Months later bowing to public pressure, the council pulled the extension and created a marketing, uh... "task force" to sell, uh... "study" the trolley. All of that took place almost exactly two years ago.

Now like some particularly annoying and chronic condition, the Transportation Infrastructure Tax extension is back on the radar. The original voter approved tax is set to sunset at the end of this year, which means gross receipts taxes in the City of Albuquerque would go down by 1/4 cent at the end of this year.

The Chavez Administration and some on the council would have you believe that the revenue generated by the Transportation Infrastructure Tax is critical to maintain basic transportation services. First of all the public has spoken on this tax not once, but twice - once at the ballot box and once through the public outrage that resulted in the last extension's demise.

Second, it's not as if the end of this particular source of revenue was unforeseen. Ten years ago it was included in the original legislation. Two years ago, it was extensively discussed during the Trolley fiasco. We have little sympathy for the administration's or the council's cry of poverty - particularly in light of the current economic situation.

You see the administration and the council plan to put the Transportation Infrastructure Tax on the October ballot. However, since the tax ends at the end of this year they're claiming that they'd lose approximately $18 MILLION for the first half of next year due to the way the city receives money from the State Taxation and Revenue Department. Here they assume that the extension will pass and cry us a river - they knew this was coming and should have planned for it.

More annoyingly, it appears that the city has been collecting the tax and not using it. In fact, Councilor Cadigan seems to have found some $26 MILLION in "excess" revenue.
WHEREAS, since the inception of the Transportation Infrastructure Tax, large excess balances have accumulated which could be used to provide transportation improvements City-wide as well as provide an economic stimulus to the local economy;
Large excess balances?! Apparently, they've been collecting money and not using it for the projects they were directed to use the money for. In fact, the Eyes have it that Councilor Mayer has voiced concerns that the money hasn't been used properly.

So here it is... The voters voted for a tax that ends this year. They reaffirmed their position two years ago by raising hell with the council and forcing them to repeal the previous extension. The city probably isn't using the money it actually spends appropriately and they have "large excess balances" of more than $26 MILLION.

What's stunning to us is that there's actually any question how even the most whacked out big government liberal should vote. If the administration wants an extension they should put it on the ballot and make their case to the public. If it passes, they may lose $18 MILLION but thanks to their mismanagement they can cover the shortfall by using the $26 MILLION they've already collected. If it doesn't pass - which we suspect (and hope) will be the case - they spend the $26 MILLION on the projects they were supposed to spend it on in the first place and call it a day.

Two years ago, Councilor Mayer held a meeting to discuss this very issue. Just like the tax itself, history is repeating itself. The councilor is holding a meeting tonight (Thursday) at the newly remodeled Sheraton Uptown - 7 pm. She's asking for your thoughts on the 1/4 cent. She promises to have the Council Budget Director and Transit Director, Greg Payne. If nothing else, it should be a lively meeting since our Eyes tell us that at least a few disgruntled taxpayers plan to attend.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that the very people who tend to whine most about taxes - Republicans - are the ones who tend to live in exurbs and gated communities and make the most use of publicly funded transportation infrastructure - mostly in the form of roads. Where's all the whining from conservatives when roads are built or expanded using public funds linking their little fantasy land housing developments to the actual city?

Anonymous said...

Put Winter on the Scamera Artist Mug Shot Wall. His assistant lobbied for the cameras in Santa Fe. If you don't, you are not honest with your readers

Put Cadigan on the wall. His firm cashed checks from RedFlex. If the black eye does not report all info, people will stop reading it.

Jeremy Toulouse said...

My understanding is that it is $30 million that is unspent from the transpo. tax.

Anonymous said...

Payne did a good job last night at Mayer's meeting. I read some of the comments about himin and expected something else. I see why poeple sweat him.

Mayer is a wackjob. Is anyone running against her? I cant believe she is my councillor. Total idiot.

Anonymous said...

The problem with ANY mayor and ANY council is that they have never met a tax they didn't love. They never let a tax or bond expire.

Anonymous said...

ABQ is a good 30 years behind mass transit compared to most big cities. I was looking at the city from the west side yesterday and couldn’t see the mountains, because of the pollution. Nobody that pays taxes wants them raised. There’s got to be another way!

Maybe that small portion of the ¼ cent public safety tax that was to be spent on the community, but that never happened. The tax was to be divided mostly between AFD & APD for training and equipment with a sunset clause of 2010. Marty and the unions duped the public into believing it would never be used for raises, that’s a bunch of horse shit. And that sunset clause disappeared into the sunset the second taxpayers voted for the tax. But how ‘bout a trolley from downtown to Snob Hill where Marty’s Greek friends own most of the businesses?

Marty misappropriates monies all the time. The AG needs to audit him!

Anonymous said...

Mayer is a wackjob. Is anyone running against her? ....

I agree with you about the idiot part. I'm thinking about running myself ... I better bring in the cats first (it's supposed to rain .... lol

Anonymous said...

WHO is running against Mayer? Someone said she has an opponent.

Let her go back to work at K-Mart full-time. They need her. We in District 7 don't.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see a column for this so I just want to say that my heart goes out to the families of the 4 murdered police officers in Oakland.

Anonymous said...

Dickerson and Soltari will run against her...
More hope , more change

Anonymous said...

To cross a wide river....
a mule, a boat, a horse, or a person? Pick one.

A mule would probably get in the water, take a look around and
decide after years, years to get in the water. A mule would go so slow that a person would just be better off getting off the mule
and swimming ashore himself or herself. (kinda like how long the Modern Street car has now been in debate).

A boat would be ideal. The landing dock a little iffy if going
too fast and no shelter from rain though. Hey! That's an idea lets just put a giant river on Central and give everybody commuter boats! Like Island hopping! (cost as much as the Modern Street Car and the water could be recycled water!)

A horse would manage the current and the depth only if the depth was really superficial..... kinda like the personality of City govenment. Which like a deep thinker that there are.... would soon be the demise of the horse in an all of a sudden great idea like
.... no, never mind, can't think of any... the horse would be all right.

A person- A female would cross the wide river by holding out her thumb to flag down the nearest Truck driver and by just lifting her skirt a bit the female wouldn't have to swim in the river or walk a great distance herself over the bridge.

If your wondering why the mule and the horse didn't just gallop or walk over the bridge to cross the wide river- Blame City government because that is who controls the mule and horse. If your stupid enough to ask why the boat didn't use the bridge to cross over the wide river, then your probably in Chavez's circle of government.

Anonymous said...

WTF?

Anonymous said...

For the kind of money spent on public transportation... our city
government would be better off buying regular cars that are a combination of battery run and gas
run vehicles.... that way those prostitutes on Central who didn't have their vehicles to trace back
would at least have their own vehicle and with that who knows? Maybe the prostitutes would find a better occupation that was an honest living.

Buying 500,000 people in Albuquerque vehicles would also bail out Zangarra Dodge and act as a stimulus to other car companies which would still cost less than
the Modern Street Car!

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
I find it ironic that the very people who tend to whine most about taxes - Republicans - are the ones who tend to live in exurbs and gated communities and make the most use of publicly funded transportation infrastructure - mostly in the form of roads. Where's all the whining from conservatives when roads are built or expanded using public funds linking their little fantasy land housing developments to the actual city?"


That is probably because those are the people paying the bulk of the taxes to support the lifestyles that the welfare recipients have become comfortable with, and demand to be supported in. This is a public transportation tax...it is for buses...which a majority of those "conservatives" are smart enough not to waste their time with. What person who has worked for a certain economic level would subject themself to drug addicts, drunk bums, and the myriad of street peope who make the buses and bus stops their home!!!

All of the new funding for those roads is going to be spent into new areas of town which will fall within the new city council guidelines to provide low income housing in all neighborhoods....so that we can all enjoy the slums...even though we work hard every day to be able to live at a certain economic level. Call it class separation or whatever bs title you give it....but I was raised to work hard to make a better life for myself...and I expect to live and socialize with people who believe the same way. There are no have's and have-not's, but there are willing-to-work-for-it's.....and the give-it-to-me-because-I-believe-I-deserve-it.

But that is just me.

Anonymous said...

The Park n Ride is nothing but catering to the rich (the have's) because to qualify for Park n Ride
you first have to own a car! So,
don't have the City Mayor use that line of b.s. that Park n Ride is for the poor!

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along?

Anonymous said...

Why has'nt the media reported a serious matter that happened a few days ago in Albq. Still watching the news so see if they will report it. Why is it such a secret. Maybe when the investigation is complete then maybe there will be press conference!!!!

Anonymous said...

The press and the media are just a bunch of liberal catering cowards and pussies.
DO YOUR DAMN JOBS- REPORT THE CORRUPTION.
Oh please don't say Larry Barker does. He eats out of both sides of the trough.
He sells out just like "Oh bend me over" Wilhelm.