Measure Would Raise $4.8 Million
The Albuquerque City Council is expected to vote Monday night on whether to send to voters a proposal to hike the gasoline tax in the city by two cents a gallon.
The measure, sponsored by Councilor Isaac Benton, would raise $4.8 million a year. If approved by the council it could go to voters in the October 3 municipal election.
Benton said the new tax is needed to rehabilitate transportation systems in the city.
Critics of the proposal say it isn’t needed, would disproportionately affect low-income people and is vague about how the money would be spent.
Here’s what the proposed ordinance says about where the money will go:
“Revenue from the Municipal Gasoline Tax will be used to fund the rehabilitation of transportation systems for the benefit of the City. Rehabilitation projects are those required to extend the service life of an existing facility, improve its operation, improve safety, or restore original performance or capacity.
“Rehabilitation projects shall, in accordance with the standards in the Complete Streets ordinance, examine the entire right-of-way to enhance usefulness for all transportation and mobility modes, including improvements for automobiles as well as for transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Rehabilitation projects shall prioritize the improvement of connections between the various transportation and mobility modes and shall improve conditions for pedestrians. No funds shall be expended to enhance aesthetics on interstate highways.”
Paul Gessing, executive director of the Rio Grande Foundation, said the proposal would add an additional two cents onto the combined federal and state gas tax that is 34.5 cents-a-gallon in the city.
In 2000, the city approved a one-quarter-cent transportation gross receipts tax that is still in effect. The tax brings in $38 million a year.
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