Landeene to Otero County: Your Vote Doesn’t Matter

Otero County residents may have rejected a tax increase to help send millionauts on space joyrides, but the show will go on. The New Mexico Spaceport Authority released the following statement about the vote on Tuesday that basically says, “Hey, it’s your loss”:

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Spaceport America Augers in – Otero County Voters Reject Tax Hike

Voters in Otero County appear to have firmly rejected a proposed tax hike to help put millionauts into space.  The vote totals, as of 21:37 local time, were:

FOR: 8,179 (47.74%)
AGAINST: 8,954 (52.26%)

These are probably not official results yet, and I don’t know if there are any absentee ballots to count. But unless something significant changes, the measure has gone down to defeat.

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Otero County to Vote on Spaceport America Tax on Tuesday

A couple of opinion pieces from the Alamagordo Daily News in support of a tax increase to help fund the construction of New Mexico’s Spaceport America. Voters in Otero County go to the polls on Tuesday.

Spaceport studies reflect positive impact in Otero County
Yvette Herrell
Alamagordo Daily News

“Of course, the largest benefit to Otero County will be measured in economic impact. Between increased tourism throughout the community and at the space museum generated by the development of commercial space activity, studies predict thousands of new jobs created by the spaceport. There is no allocation or division of opportunity by the spaceport, so there is no limit to the economic opportunity that Otero County can experience. In fact, the return to Otero will be quickly realized through the re-investment of 25 percent of the new tax funds to local schools and education, especially in the areas of math and science. More money for high-tech education means students that are better prepared to take advantage of these jobs of tomorrow!”

To the voters of Otero County
Garrey Carruthers
Alamagordo Daily News

“While the high tech stuff gets most of the attention, often overlooked are the significant contributions to our economy through ‘terrestrial tourism’ such as the trips to the White Sands Monument, International Space Hall of Fame, the mountains by those who accompany the space travelers. And my vote in the affirmative here in Doña Ana County was even more motivated by the influence the spaceport will have on the educational aspirations of our young people.”

New Mexico Forms Spaceport America Tax District; Questions Raised on Otero County Benefits

Spaceport Board Authorizes District
Alamogordo Daily News

“A handful of people filled a room at the New Mexico Museum of Space History Thursday morning as the state’s spaceport authority officially formed a district able to collect taxes in Sierra and Doña Ana counties beginning Jan. 1.

“The New Mexico Spaceport Authority hopes to add Otero County to the regional spaceport district — and its tax rolls — when county voters cast ballots for the Nov. 4 election. A question on the ballot asks voters if the county should add a gross receipts tax of one-eighth of 1 percent for spaceport district operations for the next 10 years, with one fourth of collections earmarked for local education.”

What kind of ‘seat’ at the table will we get for our spaceport tax money?
Alamogordo Daily News
Nola Jones

“I wish I could support the exciting new venture of Spaceport America and secure a ‘seat at the table’ for Otero County and the attendant benefits to our schools and children. Unfortunately I have grave doubts about the ability of those advocating for the tax to deliver anything for Otero County.

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