Saturday, August 06, 2005


In the Albuquerque Journal today there is a story about a proposed Bernalillo County ordinance which would authorize the issuance of $100 million in industrial revenue bonds for a new factory on the West side. If the bonds are approved and issued and sold, the County will be obligated to pay $125,000 to an attorney for services in handling the bond issue. See post of May 16, 2005, which sets out the contract the Commissioners made with the attorney, agreeing to pay $1.25 per thousand for IRB bonds. The lawyer fee contacted for is substantial, when you consider that it is $125,000 for ?? hours of work, and you consider that we taxpayers pay the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico, $106,000 per year.

This $100 million IRB is said to be the largest in Bernalillo County history. It is relatively picayune, considering the $16 billion IRB issue recently approved in Sandoval County (voted for unanimously by the Sandoval County commissioners).
This raises the question of whether the Legislature has done a wise thing in delegating to County Commissions, and City Commissions, the power to enter into these attorney contracts and approve IRB's (in effect subsidize new or existing companies for the purpose of encouraging business).

Are these commissions qualified? Are they in danger of special interest influence? When they allow IRB's to be issued, a tax exemption results which affects the tax base for school districts, and the State. The Intel deal, now $26 billion, means $26 billion off the tax rolls, meaning the tax base is reduced $8 billion plus. In Bernalillo County, the deal is the equivalent of taking 100 houses worth $330,000 each off the tax roll.

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