Mayor’s budget proposes price hikes for popular Albuquerque activities

Albuquerque Rio Grande Zoo
Albuquerque Rio Grande Zoo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Visiting the zoo or taking the kids swimming could get more pricey.

The mayor’s compromise on the budget includes price hikes for some popular activities around the city.

Mayor Richard Berry says it’s a quarter here, a buck there — a way to raise revenue for the city without a hike in taxes.

“I think that the prices are good the way that they are,” said Katina Dennis, a local mom.

Twenty-five-cents more for city pool admission, a buck extra for a tennis lesson or a round of golf, and another dollar out-of-pocket to get into the zoo and the aquarium.

“We did decided this year that to pay for some of those it may be okay to ask the community to pay a little more for some of these services we provide,” said Mayor Berry.

The council’s version of the budget costs more than what Mayor Berry had in mind. So to make it work, he’s proposing some price hikes.

“I don’t think it’ll make that much of a difference. Little things can add up but most people plan and budget for these things,” said local mother Erin Seiger.

“We don’t go often so if there’s a price increase we wouldn’t go anymore,” explained Edna Enriquez.

“We want to make sure that it’s still affordable for families,” said Councilor Ken Sanchez.

The mayor is also asking players in city leagues to each pay $1 more for the season.

The hikes also extend to home builders.

“If you’re going to build eight new homes in a subdivision, it’s about $700 extra so maybe a little less than $100 per new home,” said Mayor Berry.

He says these hikes could generate up to $2 million in revenue for the city.

“For example, one more dollar to play a round of golf to help a police officer get a raise,” Mayor Berry said.

He also says our zoo prices are cheaper than other zoos in similarly sized cities. A zoo ticket here is $9 and Tucson is $10.50, while Salt Lake City’s zoo will cost $16.95 and in Denver it costs $17.

“So at some point in time as much as you don’t want to increase the fee, still keeping it in this area where it’s a tremendous value for our families,” Mayor Berry said.

The city council gets the mayor’s budget compromise on Monday. The council could vote on it by June 19.

If these price hikes do pass,  they’ll go into effect July 1.

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