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The State Will Not Pay For Sidewalks

A sidewalk in Santa Fe less than 5 minute walk from the Roundhouse.
S. Baxter Clinton
A sidewalk in Santa Fe less than 5 minute walk from the Roundhouse.

House Bill 24, Responsibility for Sidewalk Repair, has been tabled after a unanimous vote by the House Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvement Committee.

The standing law requires residential home owners to be responsible for sidewalk repairs and can leave them liable for those injured on a damaged sidewalk in front of their property.

Bill sponsor Representative Miguel Garcia believes that requiring homeowners to pay for sidewalks is a selective tax.

“We’re imposing a selective tax on the property owners, that is unconstitutional. Now we're saying you're going to overburden us [Municipalities] because now we have to pay millions of dollars to repair sidewalks in residential areas. Madame chair, those sidewalks will have to be repaired and it will have to come from the bank accounts or piggy banks of the residential property owners.”

HB 24 would have repealed the standing law and made counties and municipalities responsible for repair, improvement and construction of sidewalks.

Representative Art De La Cruz would be in favor of a fund that supports those that need help to pay for repairs to sidewalks.

“Thank you Madame Chair, Representative Garcia, I appreciate what you're trying to do. I think that I would be more supportive of a fund that could be created that city and counties could apply for to help these residents that need support.”

Representative Garcia will continue to work on this legislation for New Mexicans.

“I’m still going to pursue this because the constituent base is really asking for these changes, not only in my community but around the state.”