Mayor Tim Keller signed the tax increase bill with no press conference, no fanfare, and no one looking on.
It was found out by ABQ Reports by looking at the City Council website.
Too bad and what a missed opportunity for Keller.
Mayor Keller should have appeared before city council to announce his decision, perhaps even sign the bill in front of them, and allowed himself to be asked questions by both the City Council and the public.
Words, appearances and actions matter when you are a candidate as well as an elected official.
A promise not to raise taxes without a public vote by any candidate for mayor is meaningless when said from the get-go and nonsense that should not be taken too seriously.
No candidate for mayor really knows what is going on with city finances until he/she actually look at the books.
Keller making the promise as a candidate was at best idealistic and at worse being foolish just to garner votes to get elected.
Candidate Keller saying he would draw from various agencies, departments and programs where large, misappropriated budgets existed to deal with any city deficit sounded fantastic but was not very realistic after the eight years of budget cuts and downsizing of government.
Any candidate for office usually regrets making promises regarding raising taxes to get elected; just ask former President George H.W. Bush when he said “Read my lips, no new taxes!” and lost to Bill Clinton.
Candidate Keller promised and made the commitment to be transparent and he should be just that with his actions, even if it’s reversing a promise he made on taxes.
Being transparent does not mean you look one way and then the other to make sure no one is looking to do something you promised not to do, which is called being sneaky.
Following is the March 19, report published by ABQ Reports:
KELLER SIGNS TAX INCREASE BILL
March 19, 2018
BY: Dennis Domrzalski
Mayor Tim Keller has broken his campaign promise to put all tax increase proposals to city voters by signing an ordinance to raise the gross receipts tax in the city by three-eights-of-a-cent, or $55 million a year.
Keller signed the bill on March 15, according to the City Council’s website.
The 0.375 percent gross receipts tax would be applied to most goods and services sold in the city and would bring the city’s gross receipts tax rate to 7.875 percent. The tax hike will take effect on July 1.
Keller and city councilors said the tax increase was needed in order to fund a projected $40 million city budget deficit and to help in hiring up to 300 more police officers. The City Council approved the increase by a 8 to 1 vote on March 5.
In early March, Keller told the Albuquerque Journal that he would have to renege on on his campaign promise to take all tax hike proposals to city voters.
“I remember my stance on that, and I want to try and keep that stance and I believe in that stance,” Keller told Journal reporters and editors. But, “it would be fiscally irresponsible for me to say we should wait three years to get funding for law enforcement.”
Keller had said during the mayoral race that he would raise taxes only as a last resort for public safety and only with voter approval.