ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A proposed gas hike will not be appearing on the November 2022 ballot. Albuquerque voters were set to decide if the city’s gas tax should be increased by two cents a gallon to pay for road improvement projects. Last week, Mayor Tim Keller vetoed the gas tax proposal saying we are just barely coming out of the pandemic and this is simply not the time to consider a gas tax hike.
However, the proposed hike would not have been on the ballot for another year and a half. Sponsor Isaac Benton says the proposed extra two cents per gallon would have taken a big chunk out of the city’s road project backlog which, he says, totals more than $15 million. At Monday night’s meeting, Benton made his case as to why the council should override the mayor’s veto.
“Just to put something on the ballot… it is the time. That’s the time for the voters to decide, the cost of all these projects are increasing drastically for us as a city. So, many of the projects that we champion in our own districts and city-wide are going to absolutely cost more a year from now,” said Benton.
Benton’s arguments were not enough. In order to override the veto, six councilors would’ve needed to vote yes but only five did. Councilors Don Harris, Klarissa Pena, Lan Sena and Cynthia Borrego voted no.