Letter To The Editor: Education Mil Levies Merit Support

By ROBERT GIBSON
Los Alamos

Tax proposals deserve very critical scrutiny. A tax should be for a legitimate valuable public purpose and should truly be for that purpose. There should be reasonable expectation the funds will be used well. And there should be no other reasonable alternative to further burdening citizens. Few tax proposals meet all those criteria.

The present proposals for a continued mil levy (property tax) to support LA Public Schools reconstruction bonds and an increase for operations at UNM-LA are rare instances that do satisfy those standards.

This community is based on formal education more than perhaps any other. Its value is unquestioned. We all benefit, whether directly or not. The requested tax dollars would clearly support such education.

LAPS’s long-term plan to modernize our 50’s-era public schools is lean and well thought-out. Previous projects in that plan have been generally well executed, providing confidence these funds will also be cost-effectively utilized. UNM-LA has been forced to be extremely frugal. They have done so much with so little for so long they are taken for granted.

The way state funding is structured, the public schools have only two choices to finance buildings: use local taxes or wait for state monies until the buildings are in decrepit condition. UNM-LA has a similarly short list of options. State funding has been declining. Tuition has been steadily climbing. Additional local tax funding is the only remaining untapped source.

Both issues are among the rare tax proposals that deserve a “yes” vote.

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