Saturday, March 21, 2009

Good Morning!!!!!!

I was at the Capitol until 3 a.m. last night, following the campaign contributions limits bill, which passed after lengthy debate. About halfway through my first cup of coffee, the Senate concurred with the House version, so it's going to the governor, who has sais he'll sign it.

The most exiting thing last night was the surprise failure of the Suncal TIDDs bill, SB249 -- which died on a tie vote. A move to reconsider also ended in a tie.

As I said last night, the pro-TIDDs folks could try to revive the issue by voting on the identicial HB470. which is on the House calendar. However, even if they could win a House vote, Rep. Brian Egolf said it surely would be filibustered in the Senate, as happened last year.

Quick background: TIDDs -- Tax Increment Development Districts -- are a public financing process in which the current tax base is measured in the district in question. The developer gets a percentage of the increase in taxes over that current tax base in the future.

The idea is that the project and infrastructure built for the project will spark growth in the area. SunCal and other advocates of TIDDs say the method is a good way to create desirable developments and jobs.

But opponents say TIDDs lead to urban sprawl, take existing businesses out of their current locations and adversely affect tax revenues.

California-based SunCal has been is pushing SB249 and HB470 to help finance the initial stage of what eventually would be a 55,000-acre residential, commercial and industrial project on Albuquerque's Way-Out-West Side.

The company hired a small army of lobbyists and launched a huge advertising campaign. How much did they spend? We don't know yet. They aren't required to report that until April.

This whole sheebang's over at noon. Keep watching this blog.