Tucumcari would do well to pass tax increase
Published: Saturday, May 10th, 2003
Tucumcari residents might not notice the extra dime or two they leave at the grocery store. People traveling through Tucumcari, who contribute an estimated 40 percent of the city’s gross receipts taxes, certainly won’t notice. But our children and grandchildren will be able to tell the difference if Tucumcari voters have the foresight to pass the one-quarter-cent gross receipts tax on May 20. Normally, we oppose dipping deeper into taxpayer pockets. It’s better for government to cut fat than to expect more of already-overburdened taxpayers. But this is different. This tax — an extra 25 cents for every $100 a consumer spends — will go into a fund designated solely for a water delivery system from Ute Lake. The $216,000 a year the tax would generate would allow Tucumcari to acquire, construct and maintain a system to get water from Ute Lake. The system will guarantee that coming generations have the tools needed for Tucumcari to realize the growth we all know is possible. Without the water system, Tucumcari will be left quite literally in the dust. Some may argue the city does not need the water. They are turning a blind eye to harsh realities. Fresh water is fast becoming the world’s most prized commodity. Some may argue local officials should focus on economic development. Water is economic development. Industry must have water to prosper; it won’t locate where water is scarce. The Entrada Aquifer, which supplies Tucumcari with its water, cannot support the area’s residential and agricultural needs indefinitely. Without the proposed tax, Tucumcari residents can expect to see their water bills double, triple or even quadruple as city officials scramble to raise the money to pay for a water system. The time to begin setting aside money for a water system is now, before it is needed, and this tax allows the city to begin paying for that system. Tucumcari would be wise to approve the one-quarter-cent gross receipts tax on May 20.
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