Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Vote confuses funding for planned Albuquerque stadium

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – Albuquerque voters may be confused about how to fund a proposed stadium as the vote includes inconsistent statements about the nature of the city’s $ 50 million stadium loan proposal.

The reports that the ballot – which has been in use since the early voting began on October 5th – initially referred to the project funding as “Gross Income Tax Revenue Bonds” (BRT). However, the spot where voters mark their ballots refers to General Obligation Bonds (GO), which are another funding mechanism that is paid for with property taxes.

Officials say they do not know how the mix-up came about and that it is not a legal problem.

The city plans to oblige part of its BRT – a tax levied on the sale of goods and services – to make annual payments on the $ 50 million it would borrow for the stadium. While Mayor Tim Keller’s administration has announced that it will only go after the stadium if voters approve the money this fall, GRT bonds – unlike GO bonds – technically don’t require voter approval.

The city spends about $ 13 million annually on existing BRT bonds, but has recently paid off some of those bonds. This freed up about $ 4 million a year, which officials said could apply to new stadium debt if voters approve the $ 50 million bond.

The new stadium debt would require payments of approximately $ 3 million a year for 25 years.

The New Mexico United soccer team has pledged to the city to pay $ 900,000 annually to use the stadium. The team has also announced they will pay $ 10 million upfront to build it.

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