Big Capital Choices Ahead For New Mexico

New Mexico – Legislators and Gov. Susana Martinez face tough decisions next year on whether to spend all available bond money for capital projects to help create construction jobs and stimulate the economy.

About $430 million in bond capacity is available for capital projects and about three-fourths of that comes from general obligation bonds, which are backed by property tax levies and require the approval of voters.

Sen. John Arthur Smith, a Deming Democrat and chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee, says lawmakers may want to consider limiting the general obligation bond issue next year to try to minimize the potential property tax increase.

Rep. Brian Egolf, a Santa Fe Democrat, disagrees. He says elected officials should do everything possible to get New Mexicans back to work.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.