What do you call governments that push aside tax-generating developments and promote tax-eating developments? “Stupid” would be one choice term that comes to mind, but “Albuquerque and Bernalillo County” would be other potential terms. Let me explain.
First and foremost, the tax-generating development is the proposed Wal-Mart at Coors and Montano. RGF has consistently advocated for such a development and as a West Side resident, it makes sense. But it has come under fire from the NIMBY crowd and some politicians.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that the City and County are hoping to re-zone a plot of land (called Oxbow Town Center) at Coors and Sequoia for low-income apartments. Now, I don’t care if the apartments are planned for the poor or the Queen of England, but the County is planning to issue $15 million in tax-exempt bonds to help finance the project.
We are assured, as the release above points out, that the developer is merely using the County to access tax-exempt bonds that can be provided by the government, but what happens if the housing market falls apart again and the project stalls? More importantly, why should this development get tax-exempt bonds, but not the rest of us? Sorry, but there is no reason for the rest of us to pay full-freight while this favored developer receives a generous tax subsidy.
At this point, unfortunately, all we have is the blunt instrument of stopping this by denying the zoning change, but the taxpayer subsidy is the real issue here.