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Does not seem like a good deal to us

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By Ralph Damiani

What is going on? This week the New Mexico Senate gave the go-ahead for a new development on the west side of Albuquerque and the redevelopment of a mall within the city. And they approved a much smaller redevelopment project in downtown Las Cruces.

While this may sound good, we wonder.

The Legislature’s approval of the issuance of $408 million in bonds for SunCal’s industrial development on Albuquerque’s west mesa, and $164 million in bonds to redevelop the Winrock Mall into retail, residential and office space.

The projects are being done under a 2006 law that allows the formation of tax increment development districts — TIDDs — that can issue bonds to pay for roads, water and sewer systems and other on-site infrastructure.

But does this development fit under that umbrella?

Under a TIDD, up to 75 percent of future tax revenue generated at the site is set aside to pay off the bonds.

Sounds great, but will this really create jobs? And what kind of jobs? Do we really need to invest millions of taxpayer money into minimum wage jobs?

But even worse is the company that this money is going to.


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