Paul Gessing is the executive director of the Rilo Grande Foundation. These are some talking points that the RGF has put together regarding APS's proposed tax increase. The election is being conducted by mail-in ballot.
Gessing also said that APS could raise money by selling off property it no longer needs. That would get the school district immediate income, and recurring income. That's because APS's properties aren't on the tax rolls. Selling surplus property to private companies would put those properties back on the tax rolls.
Here are the RGF's talking points:
1) APS is spending $1 million of our money just to hold an election to ask for even more money from us;
2) None of the money generated by this tax increase will be used to hire more teachers or pay the best teachers more money.
3) The APS district is not limited to the City of Albuquerque. Voters in Corrales, the South Valley, Los Ranchos, and even in the East Mountains will be asked to consider this tax hike. A map of APS can be found here.
4) If you live anywhere in the APS district and this tax hike passes, your taxes WILL go up. This is true whether you are a homeowner and you pay higher taxes directly or you rent and pay the tax indirectly.
5) Residential property taxes in Bern Co increase 3%/year. This is not the case in most other counties in N.M. With that, plus increased annual residential and commercial construction coming on the books, APS has tens of millions of new money every year for capital expenses without doing anything. They regularly see their bond measures approved and now they plead for even more money?
6) APS has about 83,000 students. That number has been declining since 2012. APS last had 83,000 students in 2003. APS now has 141 school buildings and had 124 back in 2003. Rather than raising taxes to build even more facilities, APS should be combining facilities and selling off underused and unnecessary facilities.
7) APS has a massive “twin towers” facility on Louisiana and just spent $22 million to build a new “training” center which a vast majority of students will never step foot in. Now they want a massive tax hike?