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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

YES- 50.6% to No - 49.4% - Dona Ana County Passes Spaceport Tax

The voters have spoken and it appears that from the 17,315 votes cast on the spaceport tax question, the yes vote appears to have prevailed by a mere 204 votes or 8,781 or 50.6% 'yes' to 8,577 or 49.4% 'no' in Tuesday Dona Ana County, New Mexico voting with all precincts reporting.

Provisional ballots, however, were yet to be counted. The 541 provision ballots leaves the ballot question not fully resolved, according to the The Guardian. The provisional ballots will be counted Thursday when the election results are canvassed and certified.

About $49-million in construction bond debt for Spaceport America will now have a dedicated revenue stream to retire the bonds from the 0.25% gross receipts sales tax in Dona Ana County. The total construction costs for the spaceport is expected to be $198 million. The New Mexico Legislature has dedicated $115 million to the project at this point.

Gov. Bill Richardson said late Tuesday that he knew the election would be close. "What is clear is that the voters of Dona Ana (County) are both cautious with public investment and hopeful in seeking to create a high-tech, high-wage economy and improve math and science education for Southern New Mexico," he told The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Heath Haussamen provides insights from New Mexico Politics on the Dona Ana spaceport tax vote analysis and longer-term implications. The Las Cruces Sun-News offers a colorful story on the mood of the ballot question camps.


Darnell Clayton said...

I've been following this on your blog and the anticipation is killing me!

Things do not look good thus far, but the same thing has been said of other (more important) elections affecting the country.

But then again, isn't space just as important?

Note: Keep me updated!

Darnell Clayton said...

Hey Jack!

I posted this on my blog, but it seems as if the final counts are in and we will have a spaceport after all (barring absentee votes that is).

I've posted this on my blog, but you can check out the results on the Unofficial Dona Ana Spaceports Tax Election site.

The future is definitely looking brighter. :-)

Andy Motherway said...

I am not ready to claim victory just yet. With a 204 vote lead and 541 ballots left to be counted, things could change!

As I write this it is 18 degrees outside, Fahrenheit! Last fall 3 friends and I drove 30 hours to Las Cruces to attend the Wirefly X Cup and the 4 of us spent a little over 1000 dollars each while in NM, on hotels, wine, food, anything NM we could find due to our excitement for what we thought was being supported there.

I cannot believe there is such division over this! We are spending 2 billion dollars a week in Iraq, yet, $2.50 a month, by the citizens of three counties (counties of which my three friends and I, pending the outcome of this vote, could be citizens) is too much!

Nobody likes taxes, but give me a break! Saying no to this vote is saying NO to those of us who want to come to NM to work and live and contribute to the economy. I understand that there is concern whether or not this will be successful, but it is it really so unbelievable that the citizens of NM are willing to give up so quickly on a chance to better their town, there economy, their state, for $2.50 a month?!

New Mexico was a wonderful experience for us and we are planning another, more ambitious trip this year to the state. Will we be welcome?