[Mayor Ken Miyagishima e-mailed the following statement on the quality-of-life tax with the weekly City Council Information letter. Editor]
FYI: I do not support the quality of life tax as this time for the following reasons:
I believe we (council) can do more to increase funding to avoid raising taxes such as:
1. Proceeds from CLC license plate will generate approximately $150,000 to be dedicated to the recreation fund.
2. We are currently looking at helping both the Museum Foundation and Branigan Foundation to generate income, thus reducing city funding. This could also generate approximately $100,000 – $150,000
3. I believe we could sell some small “Pocket parks” that according to staff could be as many as 20 very small, seldom used pocket parks. What is a pocket park? Basically a small piece of land within a subdivision that the developer “donated” to the city to be used as a park. Savings: $150,000
As you can tell, this could raise or save about $400,000 to be used toward recreation.
Thank you, KEN MIYAGISHIMA
By Steve Klinger
How about a show of hands? How many supporters of the “quality-of-life” tax in Las Cruces were waving their signs against taxes at the teabag party on April 15?
Of course, this tax is different. Just ask a soccer mom. Or a rec league weekend warrior. The tea parties were all about federal taxes, taking my money and giving it to some lazy unemployed person or a big investment bank when the government ought to be saving money. The local sales tax boost would enhance recreation opportunities right here in this community. Everyone should get on board and sign the petitions now being drawn up so the City Council can either approve the tax directly or send it along for a public referendum.
And besides, it’s only ¼ of one percent, a measly quarter on a hundred-dollar purchase. How selfish can you be to not support this tax and expect those who participate in the sports to pay their own way with user fees?
OK, since you asked, I’ll tell you. We are in a recession, in case you hadn’t noticed. And sales (or gross receipts) taxes are among the most regressive; they take a larger proportion of income/assets from the poorest individuals. Those on a fixed income are the hardest hit, and probably the least likely to use the sports/recreation facilities as well.
Advocates of the tax will have 60 days to get at least 2,136 valid signatures on petitions to get the initiative before the City Council.
The proposed tax may be small, but it would come on top of the spaceport tax and push the city gross receipts rate closer to 8 percent. Now is not the time for non-essential taxes. Surely the teabaggers agree with me and are aghast at this effort to add a new tax to the burden of Las Crucens.
Seems kind of quiet out there. Don’t all protest at once.