Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Problems at New Jail Lead to More Tax Talk.(Final)(Editorial)

EDITORIALS

Bernalillo County residents face the likelihood of a property tax increase to cover an 8 percent increase in county spending and erase a multimillion-dollar deficit in its corrections department budget.

The trail of red ink leads directly to the city-county run and the bewilderingly overdue Metropolitan Detention Center. The county owes the city $5.2 million in unplanned jail-related costs, and needs another $1.3 million in operational funds for the still nonfunctioning jail.

And there's more bad news: The property tax increase will put the county's tax as high as it legally can go at least for the short term. In other words, if the increase takes effect, there's no cushion for unforeseen emergencies like jail cost overruns. …

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