I received this letter from Janice E. Arnold Jones, a Dear, Dear Friend over the years, having interviewed her many times on KKIM Christian Radio when I was manager and did one of my favorite programs “New Mexico News and Views.” Janice has served us at the Roundhouse and at City Hall. I have always said about Janice, “she knows economics better than most” I believe Janice is spot on with her deep concern about APS and its proposed property tax increase, its just plain awful, she hits the nail right on the head. I am also against this tax increase! I have given APS an F in financial management for years! Here is the letter Janice sent out:
I’ll be brief. APS is conducting a mail-in ballot to increase the mil-levy for property taxes by as much as 19% for the next 10 years. APS has the money to advertise and advocate for this tax increase. (Grumble!) The property tax payers have no advocates, unless we step up. The increase is onerous, and unjustified.
Ballots will be mailed out January 8, 2019. Ballots must be returned no later than February 5, 2019. We have about three weeks to defeat this tax increase.
Here are the issues surrounding the property tax increase:
· Capital projects only. No new dollars for teachers or for maintenance.
· Property tax increase will hit property owners, renters … seniors on fixed incomes and teachers will be hit the hardest.
· APS has listed the kinds of projects it wants to do – they currently have the bonding capacity to fund those projects WITHOUT raising the mil-levy on property but they choose to raise it.
· APS is a questionable steward of capital outlay – their construction cost per square foot is set above industry levels. An APS bond was passed two years ago for the “health center”. Where did the money go?
· There is vacant APS property that could be sold or repurposed. (APS has refused to release a list of vacant facilities).
· APS enrollment has dropped by over 10,000 students, yet the amount of square footage of buildings has tripled. Shouldn’t consolidation be considered first?
· Property tax increase not really for “the children”.
If you think APS has overstepped and that this property tax increase is not needed nor appropriate, or you just don’t want a property tax increase, I am asking you to speak up. I am recruiting knowledgeable voters to present on this issue. You will be provided material and consistent talking points along with dates, times and venues for presentations and literature drops.
We have 3 weeks to make a difference.
There are groups of individuals working to defeat this mail-in election. Will you help? Speaking and presentations will begin next week. This is a short-term, but intense effort. The first three weeks of January needs the greatest participation.
If you can help, please reply to this email with your best contact information and your availability in the month of January 2019.
Janice E. Arnold-Jones