A Public Service of Santa Fe Community College
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Santa Fe Excise Tax For Affordable Housing Approved In Landslide

Santa Fe City Councilors Renee Villarreal (l) and Jamie Cassutt (r) speak with City Manager John Blair as election results come in Tuesday night.
Kevin Meerschaert
Santa Fe City Councilors Renee Villarreal (l) and Jamie Cassutt (r) speak with City Manager John Blair as election results come in Tuesday night.

Municipal and County elections across New Mexicowere decided Tuesday night. 

Santa Fe voters have overwhelmingly approved the three-percent excise tax on the sale of homes over one-million dollars to raise funding for affordable housing programs.

The ballot question was approved by nearly a three-to-one margin.

 Advocates say the tax could raise up to $6 million a year for the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

A large group of housing advocates and nonprofit organizations had worked together to get the measure on the ballot and approved by voters.

City Councilor Jamie Cassutt was a cosponsor of the bill to get it placed on the ballot and celebrated the victory with supporters at a celebration at MASS Design Group.

She thanked them for their work but says now the hard work needs to be done to bring more affordable and workforce housing to Santa Fe.

“It really has been beautiful to see what this group has been able to do. I think a big piece of this is to make sure we do not miss out on the harnessing of this energy because this is only one piece of the puzzle for affordable housing,” she said. “This is the funding but there is a lot of other work that we really have to do so making sure that this group stays activated, that they stay involved, that they stay passionate, that’s going to be crucial.”                 

The excise tax is still facing a legal challenge from the Santa Fe Association of Realtors. 

Association President Drew Lamprich says despite  overwhelming support they still question the constitutionality of the excise tax and will continue their legal fight against it.

Cassutt also celebrated an easy reelection to her Council 4 District Seat. Fellow incumbent District 2 Councilor Michael Garica was also reelected.

They will be joined by two newcomers to the Governing Body come January.       

Pilar Faulkner was elected to the District 3 seat and after three rounds of going through the ranked voting in District 1, Alma Castro was able to edge out Geno Zamora.

In the only contested School board race, Board President Sarah Boses easily defeated her two challengers.

All the Charter amendment questions were also approved in Santa Fe as were the bond approvals.     

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.