How much abuse do Albuquerque residents and taxpayers have to take before they start storming City Hall with pitchforks and torches?
How much abuse and contempt will they take before they dial their phones and call their city councilors, or type a few lines on their keyboards and send an email to their councilors?
What will it take for all of you to scream and shout to these buffoons and incompentents who have crapped all over for the past eight years, “Don't raise our taxes!”
What will it take for you to demand that these people stop robbing you?
Are you citizens or are you sheep?
The proposed $55 million a year gross receipts tax increase that is being pushed by City Councilors Ken Sanchez and Trudy Jones isn't needed. And if it is approved by the council, it will amount to thievery.
So let's talk first about how these councilors and the previous mayoral administration have abused you – have basically spit on you - over the past eight years.
First there's the stupid, unnecessary and useless $135 million Albuquerque Rapid Transit project. The vast majority of people in this city didn't want ART. But the councilors and the previous administration ignored your opinions and shoved it down your throats. You are their bosses; you pay their salaries. But they ignored you and laughed at you. The basically said “F**k You!” to all of us.
Then these fools built the project before the $75 million federal grant that was to pay for more than half the project was approved and in the bank. The grant still hasn't been approved. What kind of an idiot would start construction on a major project before the money was in the bank? The idiots on the City Council, that's who.
Why do you want to give these losers and fools even more of your money?
Over the past several years, the city has saved up to $100 million by never fully staffing the Albuquerque Police Department. What did they spend that saved money on?
Here are the facts: Up until three years ago, APD was budgeted for 1,100 officers. But it was never able to hire all those people. Now, APD is budgeted for 1,000 cops and it has only around 850 cops. Figure that it costs $100,000 year to filed each officer. That includes salary, health insurance, pension contributions, life insurance, weapons, uniforms and cars. That's $15 million a year in savings. Where has that money gone?
The former administration kept hundreds of positions at City Hall vacant each year in order to save money. They apparently used that saved money to pay $75 million for ART construction. Now the lunatic city councilors are going to tell us that they have to fill all of those jobs.
The city didn't fall apart and crumble into dust because hundreds of city jobs were left vacant. Why should we be including those unfilled jobs in the current budget when they obviously aren't needed? I'll tell you why. It's because the councilors are thieves who, in their minds, will never get enough of your money.
The city already has a quarter-cent gross receipts tax for public safety that brings in $38 million to $40 million a year. Voters approved it in 2003, and since then it has raised close to $500 million. That's half a billion dollars. What was that money spent on? Why do we need another public safety tax? We don't.
There is no budget deficit at City Hall like the politicians and their blogger friends would have you believe. Proposed budgets are wish lists of things bureaucrats would like to have. All bureaucrats and politicians need to do to balance a proposed budget is to trim their wish lists to meet incoming revenue. It's that simple.
City government will have more money next year than it had this year because GRT revenues keep growing. They're just not growing as much as projected. But again, there will be more money next year than there was this year. What's the problem?
The problem is that these people are greedy thieves who can never get enough of your money.
If the tax is approved, the City Council will most assuredly reduce APD's general fund appropriation. They'll spend that extra money on other things and programs we don't need. It's a bait-and-switch.
Here's another thing. The economy will pick up again and GRT revenues will grow at around 3 percent. If a new tax is imposed and the economy starts growing again, City Hall will have a windfall of tax money.
Look what happened at the state level. There were several years of tough budgets because of the crash in oil and gas prices that began in mid-2014. Last year some legislators were whining about the need for a tax hike. Gov. Susana Martinez said no new taxes. A year later, oil and gas revenues have rebounded and the Legislature had an extra $300 million to spend. Can you imagine how much extra money they would have had if they had raised taxes?
The GRT rate in Albuquerque is now 7.5 percent. If tax-hikers Jones and Sanchez get their way, it will rise to 7.875 percent, which would make it one of the highest in the state. Do you think businesses will want to come here with such a high tax rate? You know the answer.
Since 2010, the GRT rate in Albuquerque has grown by more than 20 percent. If this tax is approved
the GRT will have been increased from a range of 35.5 percent in the city since 2010. And since 2010, the city's economy has been in the tank. We've lost jobs and businesses and people. Only the vilest of the vile would increase taxes in a weak economy.
Albuquerqueans, how much more abuse will you take from these frauds, buffoons and thieves?
Are you citizens or are you sheep?