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I was very disappointed to read Pete Sheehey's continued obeisance to what it takes to get elected in Los Alamos. He and the rest of the County Council will undoubtedly continue to ensure that Los Alamos remains unattractive to young families and a conflicted location for retirees who are grandparents.
Sheehey notes that we could increase our property taxes a little to finance capital improvements and still have the lowest property taxes in the state. But no one seems to be paying attention to the fact that elsewhere in the state, those tax rates are necessary just to maintain existing infrastructure, with little available for
By contrast, if Los Alamos rates were in the mid-range of New Mexico rates ("comparable" as required for our utility rates) we would easily have sufficient funds to construct all of the capital improvements proposed on a short timetable. And still have attractively low property tax rates.
But the Council continues on the path of divide and anger by instead insisting on a prioritization exercise to fit into a budget constrained by those who don't want to pay for what they get. (It's only OK to spend money for such things if it comes from LANL GRT receipts.) The rest of the State seems to understand that a general tax that will support many projects raises sufficient support to pass an election. But as we saw with the leisure pool addition, if a tax is for one project only, the majority (in general) who can't see how it will benefit them, vote no.
This was written before the Council's Tuesday meeting. By the time you read it, I could be proven wrong about the insight and depth of our Council. I'm not holding my breath.