Poll confuses funding for Albuquerque stadium project

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Voters in Albuquerque could be confused as to how a proposed stadium will be funded, as the ballot measure includes inconsistent language about the nature of the city’s proposed $ 50 million stadium bond.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the ballot – in use since early voting began on Oct. 5 – initially described the funding for the project as “tax to gross revenue obligations” (GRT). However, where voters mark their ballot refers to General Bonds (GO), which is a different funding mechanism paid with property taxes.

Officials say they don’t know how the confusion came about and that it does not pose a legal problem.

The city plans to pledge part of its TSO – an assessed tax 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 said it will only pursue the stadium if voters approve the money this fall, GRT bonds – unlike GO bonds – do not technically require voter approval.

The city spent around $ 13 million per year on existing GRT bond debt, but recently paid off some of those bonds. This freed up about $ 4 million a year, which officials say they could apply to the stadium’s new debt if voters approve the $ 50 million bond.

The stadium’s new debt would require payments of around $ 3 million per year for 25 years.

The New Mexico United football team has pledged $ 900,000 to the city each year to use the stadium. The team also said they would pay $ 10 million upfront for the construction.


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