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Some Santa Fe Councilors Balking At Administration Proposals For Extra GRT Revenue

Seal of the city of Santa Fe
Kevin Meerschaert
Seal of the city of Santa Fe

Some members of the Santa Fe City Council are unhappy with the way the administration has presented the news that the city has unanticipated Gross Receipts Tax revenue of $14.25 million from fiscal year 2023.

The city sent out a press release on Monday on the news, along with a list of items the administration says it wants to fund with the extra tax dollars. But councilors say they didn’t learn about the additional revenue until the Friday before and it included the administration wish list without any input from the City Council as to what the dollars should be used for.

Councilor Renee Villareal says she and other lawmakers have some other ideas than what Mayor Alan Webber and the administration is proposing.

“The funding that we have available can be prioritized for housing and anything else that may come up. We are going to be presenting our recommendations for the Community Health and Safety Task Force and some of those recommendations will need funding sources that the Community and Health Safety Department is going to need to prioritize,” she said. “In my  opinion I would say taking careful stock in what was part of that recommendation report will be important as we look at future funding that may be available to actually implement some of the things and the requests we have.”

Some of the proposals by administration include $1.5 million for soccer facility improvements across Santa Fe, salary increases for employees and $800,000 for infrastructure master planning at Midtown.  

City Manager John Blair says the list of items to use the additional tax revenue for by the administration are only recommendations and still need approval by the full Governing Body and all council members are free to reject them and submit their own.
He says they were not able to present the numbers to Councilors earlier than they did.

The recommendations will go through the City Council Finance Committee and the Governing Body before being approved.