Letter To The Editor: HB33 – Taxing Los Alamos For Non-resident Education And Ambiguous Projects

Los Alamos

My information may be out of date, but last time I checked, the Los Alamos public schools accepted students that were not Los Alamos residents. The
school’s funding came from a headcount, so the more students there were, the more funding they received. There was no requirement that the students be county residents. This is the first item with which I take issue. I am being taxed to educate non-residents.

Similar to the attempted levy for the Los Alamos branch of the University of New Mexico, my tax dollars were going to be spent on resources for people that were not proportionately contributing to the tax collection. The same holds true for the LA County public schools. If these funds are going to pay for resources for students, who are brought into town and dropped off, by parents who do not pay property taxes in this County, then I am against the Levy.

The second item is that there is a history of poor money and project management at the LA County schools and we are throwing good money after bad. Until the county can show that they can repeatedly define the scope of a project, bid it out competitively and have the project done for that amount, the public needs to scrutinize their spending a little more. Giving the County Carte Blanche to tax and spend, without accountability, is foolhardy. If they cannot hold projects to their budget, then they need better oversight before we blindly pass along more funds.

In addition, to lump all the things that the funds might go to as justification for the Levy, further demonstrates that its intended use is very non-specific. If the renewal of the Levy is for another year and school system has a list of specific things that are to be funded by this Levy for the next year, then show us the specifics before we approve the money for it. If it is for a longer period, the schools need to show that they have a specific plan for the expenditures.

I am voting NO to the Mill Levy.