Rio Rancho voters say ‘no’ to reducing higher education tax

Rio Rancho voters soundly rejected a call to lower the gross receipts tax that benefits the city’s UNM campus at a special election today.

Unofficial results posted on the city’s website showed 3,611 votes in favor of keeping the tax unchanged at a quarter of one percent, while 2,480 voted in favor of reducing it to one-eighth of one percent.

The results surprised City Councilor Chuck Wilkins, who championed the cause of reducing the tax and pushed to hold the election, with the intention of introducing a new one-eighth of a cent tax to bring in money for staffing and equipment for the city’s police and fire departments.

“I really thought it was going to pass,” Wilkins said.

Wilkins said he will not go ahead with his plan to introduce an ordinance to create the new tax at the council meeting on Aug. 28.

Wilkins said the council will keep exploring other means to find more funding for the police and fire departments.

Read Wednesday’s Journal for a complete recap of today’s election.

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