New Mexico Forms Spaceport America Tax District; Questions Raised on Otero County Benefits

Spaceport Board Authorizes District
Alamogordo Daily News

“A handful of people filled a room at the New Mexico Museum of Space History Thursday morning as the state’s spaceport authority officially formed a district able to collect taxes in Sierra and Doña Ana counties beginning Jan. 1.

“The New Mexico Spaceport Authority hopes to add Otero County to the regional spaceport district — and its tax rolls — when county voters cast ballots for the Nov. 4 election. A question on the ballot asks voters if the county should add a gross receipts tax of one-eighth of 1 percent for spaceport district operations for the next 10 years, with one fourth of collections earmarked for local education.”

What kind of ‘seat’ at the table will we get for our spaceport tax money?
Alamogordo Daily News
Nola Jones

“I wish I could support the exciting new venture of Spaceport America and secure a ‘seat at the table’ for Otero County and the attendant benefits to our schools and children. Unfortunately I have grave doubts about the ability of those advocating for the tax to deliver anything for Otero County.

“Other than Governor Richardson who has brought us the jobs at PreCheck and the cookie bakery and for education the very necessary and successful preschool initiative (with much bad mouthing by some here) and 1.2 million dollars for a new library building, more technology for education is needed and our old outdated library cannot adequately serve our children the potential job seekers at Spaceport America.

“We will be completely out classed and relegated to the silent seat giving up our additional sales tax money and what will we receive in return? 25 percent of the tax (quoting Garrey Carruthers, former governor of New Mexico and currently Vice Provost for Economic Development NMSU and Dean of the College of Business) will help improve science and technology programs in Otero schools in partnership NMSU. This sounds as if Las Cruces would be the primary recipient.”