APS proposes property tax increase

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - The APS Board of Education will include a property tax increase on its mill levy bond election ballot that will be mailed out February 5.

According to APS documents, the current tax rate of $10.45 would increase to $12.45.

The tax increase on the ballot was passed Wednesday night at the Board meeting by a 6-1 vote, with Peggy Mueller Aragon voting against it.

Voters who live in the APS school district, which encompasses part of the East Mountains and even a sliver of Sandoval County, will make the final decision.

Officials say it has been 12 years since APS has asked for a tax increase.

The increase is 19 percent for APS property taxes -- so, about 4.7 percent for the property owner's overall taxes -- and would be in place for the next six years.

APS Chief Operations Officer Scott Elder says 34 need-priority projects this will go toward include construction at Harrison Middle School and Corrales Elementary School, along with educational technology and extracurricular activity vehicles.

Paul Gessing, a proponent of limited government, was at the meeting Wednesday night and spoke out against the tax increase.

"But as the parent of two children at APS I see the waste, I see them spending more than $16,000 per pupil [per year] and I don't see the results. I don't see that APS is deserving of this kind of significant increase in their bond," Gessing said.

He believes that APS has the funding it needs for the projects if it cuts costs like pricey facility design, or considers consolidating schools since student populations are shrinking.

Elder, however, believes the quality of APS projects proves their worth and cost.


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