Thursday, December 6, 2007
Mayor: TIDDs Good Option for New Development
By Caleb Fort
Journal Staff Writer
Mayor Martin Chávez vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have limited developers' ability to divert tax money for projects on undeveloped land.
The bill would have allowed Tax Increment Development Districts, or TIDDs, only in already developed areas of the city or areas where there was already a TIDD.
TIDDs allow a developer to divert tax revenue to pay for their own roads and other infrastructure, based on the assumption that the development eventually will bring in extra tax dollars and offset the initial loss.
In the veto message, Chávez says TIDDs should not be ruled out to fund infrastructure as Albuquerque grows.
The bill would make new infrastructure "another burden to taxpayers," whereas TIDDs allow private industry to take the lead, Chávez says in the message.
The bill, sponsored by Councilor Michael Cadigan, was approved 4-1 by the council on Monday. Four councilors refused to attend the meeting because of squabbling over the election of a new president.
Chávez said in the message that because the measure affects all of Albuquerque, the whole council should be able to vote on it.
He also said the city's policy should remain similar to Bernalillo County's, which allows TIDDs in undeveloped areas.
Cadigan said Monday that TIDDs should be used to encourage redevelopment in run-down urban areas, not to subsidize sprawl.
Most of the 30 people who spoke about the issue Monday were in favor of the measure.
"I am disappointed that the mayor has chosen the interests of developers over taxpayers," Cadigan said.
Cadigan said he hopes to override the veto, which would take six votes.
Each TIDD is managed by a board made up of councilors or people appointed by the council.