BY DAVID HAMPTON
Going into this year’s budgeting hearings, I want to express my opposition to increasing GRT by .5%, or any amount. This increase will disproportionately affect those with lower incomes, as well as small businesses, at a time when increased energy costs and other elements of inflation are already pressing them.
Even if revenue will decline due to an increased shift by LANL to pit production and the pit production exemption, raising GRT at this point is premature, since we don’t know and can’t reliably forecast the exact timetable or the amounts. We also cannot reliably forecast the increase to total revenue that will be caused by our planned increase in housing and the resulting increase in revenue from local businesses.
In regards to the proposed increase in capital improvement projects, which I generally support, raising GRT is not the only option. Many of these items are more suited to bond funding. This is especially enticing since we were recently notified of the increase in our County’s bond ratings, plus they would have to be put before county residents as ballot initiatives rather than having a tax increase imposed on them.
Thank you for your consideration on this topic.