ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In the face of opposition during public comment on Monday, the Albuquerque City Council chose to wait on a proposal that would ask the voters about a city-wide gas tax.
Councilors were scheduled to vote Monday night on the bill to ask voters if they would support a gas tax to improve Albuquerque roads.
However, plans changed after hearing from the public.
Albuquerque voters could get the chance to decide whether they’d be willing to pay a tax of two cents a gallon on gas to help improve city roads that are in bad shape.
Before councilors were scheduled for a final vote on it Monday night, the public spoke, including one supporter.
“I and Mayoral candidate Susan Wheeler-Deichsel would like to voice our support of President Benton’s proposal to send tax, a gasoline tax to support rehabilitation and transportation systems,” said Richard Deichsel.
Everyone else who spoke on the issue at the meeting on Monday opposed the idea.
“Earlier today I sent you all a collection of signatures, hundreds of Albuquerquians who oppose this tax increase or this new tax,” said Paul Gessing of the Rio Grande Foundation.
“This is not a process you should put on the backs of the lowest income earners in New Mexico,” said Robert Cain, State Director for Americans for Prosperity.
Speakers also raised concerns about the possibility of the tax going toward Albuquerque Rapid Transit, so the council amended the bill to specifically prevent that from happening.
“Just to further clarify that this is for roadway rehabilitation, that is the intention,” Counclor Benton said.
Ultimately, the council voted to delay a vote.
Council voted 8-1 to defer the vote to the council meeting on Monday, June 19.
Councilor Lewis, who opposes the bill, was the only one against delaying the final vote.
He told KRQE News 13 in April that he isn’t against the tax but he would rather see the extra money go towards hiring more police officers.