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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
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 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:50 pm 
GO bonds, part D, yes or no. The total cost of this year’s GO bonds is $166,013,000. Of this $136,236,000 is for Part D, colleges and universities, Western will get $6,000,000. How are these bonds paid back? Not with income from gas and oil, you pay it back in your property tax. On your property tax bill is an entry “State of New Mexico” that’s what pays the GO bonds. As of June 30, 2017 each resident of New Mexico owes $143.76 on Go bonds.

People pushing the GO bonds will tell you, “there will be no tax increase” if the bonds pass. Not really true. The tax rate for 2018 is set under the assumption that the bonds will pass, so of course the rate will remain the same if the bonds pass. What they don’t tell you is that the tax rate will decrease if the bonds fail. The last time the bonds failed was 2010. The tax rate for 2010 was 1.53 mills; since the bonds failed the tax rate for 2011 decreased to 1.36 mills. The tax rate for 2018 is 1.36 mills if Part D fails the tax rate for 2019 will decrease to about 1.28 mills.

 Author: MineralMama
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:07 am 
While searching for the source of this info I discovered the attached document at

This is the link to the NM Legislature site.

The amount for Western is $6,000,000 (p29 of 34, line 9)

However, where did the $143.76 come from?
According to the final version of SB0094FCS the maximum that can be raised by the 2018 Obligation Bond Act is $136,230,000. (p31 of 35, line 25) The July 1, 2017 population of New Mexico is 2,028,070. This calculates to $67.22. This would amount to a decrease in population of over a million people.

If the $143.76 figure is correct there must be more to the bond than law allows or I missed something.

SB0094.pdf [95.27 KiB]
Downloaded 27 times
 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:25 am 
check this out

https://ballotpedia.org/Template:New_Me ... _Debt_2018

 Author: Bruce
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:52 am 
Bond calculations always involve trade-offs. On the one hand, if you think education is expensive, think about how expensive ignorance can be. On the other hand is this bond money really going to decrease ignorance? It's easy to find fault with higher education policies in general and with WNMU policy in particular. No doubt some of the money won't go to what many of us would like to see: better pay for more non-adjunct professors teaching high quality classes and less emphasis on sports and entertainment. But are we willing to cut higher education money when most of us don't really understand the breakdown of how the money is spent and how it affects education? Is voting no on the bond going to result in better or worse higher education. I'm willing to pay bond taxes for higher education if I can be convinced that the bond money will be put to good use.


 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:18 pm 
To clarify my first post:

As of June 30, 2017 the State of New Mexico owes $300,180,000 on older Go Bonds, that’s $143.76 for each resident of New Mexico.

If all the 2018 GO Bonds pass that will add $166,013,000 to GO Bond debt or another $79.51 per person.

That gives a total of $466,193,000 in GO Bond debt or $223.27 per person to be paid off by the property owners through property tax.

It will cost $700,000 to sell the 2018 GO Bonds.

Everyone knows education is good. That’s what the school administrators, contractors and financial service people count on. What they don’t tell you is that higher ed students in New Mexico have decreased from about 155,000 in 2010 to about 126,000 in 2017. Western has had about the same rate of decrease. Not only that, but now Western is teaching almost half their classes on line. This means that about half the existing classroom space is now unused. If you look at Western’s master plan for the future you’ll see new buildings and dorms and Western even bought land near St. Mary’s for student housing. These expansion plans are pipe dreams. Western should be planning how they’re going to take care of all the unused space. When this administration took over Western they said they would have 5,000 students in 5 years, now there are fewer students than when they took over. Tax payers of New Mexico need realistic planning not the dreams of administrators so they can have before and after photos for their resumes.

 Author: bobstockdale
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:16 am 
I've never voted for anything paid for by property tax and I never will. For the homeowner living in poverty who can't put money aside or the bills won't get paid, property tax is outright sadism.
I've also never voted for any funding for colleges. Half the kids entering college are seriously deficient in the fundamentals of reading, math, science, and social studies, and only a very small percentage of them end up in the profession for which they studied.
If you want to pay for primary education with a substantially higher sales tax, I'm fine with that. Unfortunately, Trump has just massively raised sales tax, but most of it is going to the military, not education. Yes, tariffs are just sales tax in disguise.

 Author: JoeButts
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:50 am 
So, if I understand this correctly, the state is offering up these bonds for purchase and to be paid back within 10 years for the improvements, etc. of Senior Centers, Libraries and Higher Education facilities. Right? They then want to raise our property taxes to pay for the principal and interest on these bonds. They're pocketing the money from the purchase of the bonds to pay for services rendered in the future and pay it back with our tax dollars. What's wrong with this picture? Double you income and double your fun while you screw the state's citizens. That's the way I see this playing out. And, yes, I did read through the 34 page document.
Our libraries are not being used to the extent of affording these great expenses.
Senior Centers are used but not efficiently from what I see when I visit them. They're mostly empty except at lunch time when folks show up for their free lunch instead of chipping in a couple bucks for their meal, most meals of which are pretty good considering all.
Higher Education facilities: I agree that so many students are now going online for their degrees. It's more convenient, cheaper in the long run, etc.. Why do we need to tear down Harlan Hall and build a new science center for over a million dollars? How many years would it take to recover that expense with the few students paying tuition, etc. for science education? I don't see this as an investment in higher learning but in funding someone's deeper pockets.
I too will vote NO on the GO Bonds.
Thank you for your insights and alerting us to this issue, Al.

 Author: almilligan
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:11 pm 
This is a statement President Shepard made on the use of the GO Bond money:

The first $3 million will be to complete the renovation of Harlan Hall, our science building," Shepard said. "If you go to Harlan Hall today, you see a building that has fewer features than a normal high school lab. We want to improve on that and be competitive in this STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) age. We have to have the necessary funding to finish the facility."

The other $3 million will go to infrastructure improvements. "If you drive down College Avenue you will hit a dead end, where construction is going on. That is a cooperative effort between the town and the university. One thing you won't see are electric lines. They will be underground. Thank you, PNM. You're doing a great job. We will be putting up light posts and trees with twinkle lights on them for special occasions, or maybe we'll just leave them there. We are making it pedestrian friendly similar to what has been done at Light Hall, which was also paid for with GO bond money. The plan is to put more sculptures around the campus, and I want to make it an arboretum, which is a fancy name for lots of trees and a park. Someday I want people to come along and enjoy the shade of the trees we're planning. It's similar to the education we provide, which is planting a tree of sorts for tomorrow's generation. You have the opportunity to make a statement."

At another time he mentioned building a fountain near the PE complex.

President Shepard lives in a univeraity house and pays no property tax in New Mexico.

 Author: Kevin B
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:24 pm 
As I understand it, of that $136m financed with property taxes through Part D, $6m would go to WNMU. Bruce wisely noted, ",,, if you think education is expensive, think about how expensive ignorance can be." And, "I'm willing to pay bond taxes for higher education if I can be convinced that the bond money will be put to good use."

These sound like solid thoughts on both counts, thanks Bruce.

In response Al then posted what seems to be WNMU's projected spending plan for that $6m, half going to Harlan Hall and other half slated for campus grounds improvements. So do we agree that WNMU's spending plan constitutes "good use", and are we "convinced" that's where the money will actually go?

Honestly I'm unsettled about spending $3m on twinkling lights and statues. I like walking around the university, it's got a good feel, it's a good environment, twinkling lights and statues might make it even more enjoyable. But I think I'd rather see that $3m spent on capitol improvements that support academics. In that respect I like the Harlan Hall part of the plan a little better, but there too I'm unsettled.

Al noted, rightly so, that nearly half of WNMU's students are taking classes on line, which would seem to negate the need for investing in any improved infrastructure. Certainly more housing wouldn't seem like an essential expenditure. On the other hand, Harlan Hall is the University's sciences building. By its nature science involves hands on use of instruments and analysis equipment, lab and infield data acquisition systems, holding a test tube over a Bunsen burner. Science is an area of study that doesn't really lend itself to online classes all that well; imagine trying to learn how to drive a car by watching YouTube videos. You need stuff, you need to learn how to apply, handle and calibrate that stuff, and you need a place where that stuff can be housed and used. Maybe construction work on Harlan Hall would be a valid place to put those funds.

On the other hand, the path to really building a strong science program is through research and publication. When the St. Mary's property was purchased its intended use was still under consideration, slated for either housing or the development of an R&D park, the latter of which would seem to be the better objective. In fact though, neither are mentioned as being a part of WNMU's Part D spending plan. Moreover, WNMU's $6m is only about 4% of the whole Part D revenue allotment. The rest of the $130m would be going to other schools whose expenditure plans we know basically nothing about, only that they're schools somewhere in New Mexico. Santa Fe Community College says they want to spend two million dollars to, "plan, design, construct, purchase, install, furnish and equip campus wide infrastructure improvements." Now really, does that tell us anything at all? They may as well have just said if you vote to give us this two million bucks we'll figure out how to spend it on something around here. And the plans submitted from our other schools aren't any less vague. Actually by comparison Joe Shepard's idea for statues and twinkling lights is starting to sound pretty good, at least he's being specific...

So we can analyze, criticize, hypothesize and conceptualize this all we want, in the end how much closer do we come to deciding if we're going to vote For or Against Bond D on Election Day? Can some kind of thought experiment get us any better informed on this? Should we just hold our nose and flip a coin? I've got the whole rest of my sample ballot figured out, this is the only choice I'm hung on. I'm feeling like I'd like to vote yes, I just wish I could come up with a reason to do that.

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