Albuquerque Public Schools is asking for a 19 percent hike in local property taxes. Ballots will be mailed on January 8 and must be returned before February 5.
APS blames increased materials costs for driving the massive tax increase. And, while RGF shares their concern about tariffs, the reality is that there are many ways in which APS could reduce costs. For example, New Mexico has a “prevailing wage” law on the books. These laws artificially increase labor costs on public works projects like schools.
You never hear about the cost of “prevailing wage” laws from APS, but in Ohio the Legislature exempted school construction from that State’s law. The following is from the executive summary of a study done by Ohio’s non-partisan Legislative Service Commission. The Ohio Legislative Service Commission says that Ohio schools cost 10.7 percent less without the “prevailing wage” law.
Rather than asking taxpayers for a 19 percent property tax hike, it would seem that the District could request that the Legislature give them the ability to pay market wages on construction projects.