Vote No on April 8 Referendum to Raise Property Taxes to Support Anti-environmental Group
The Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District, a subunit of state government run by a board of seven supervisors (five elected), is supposed to help landowners with practical solutions to soil and water conservation problems. In recent years, however, it has become a highly politicized body with an extreme anti-environmental agenda.
Since 2011, it has passed the following resolutions:
- Opposing Mexican wolf recovery
- Prohibit wilderness within 25 miles of border
- Restrict the powers of the State Historical Preservation Office
- Give the state legislature veto power over federal land designations
- Opposing the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument
- Opposing critical habitat designation for jaguars
- Supporting a Gila River diversion
- Rejecting the UN’s Agenda 21 (which it equates with sustainability, smart growth, wilderness, etc.)
Now it is proposing to raise property taxes on landowners within its boundaries, which includes most of Dona Ana County except for the northwest corner (i.e. Hatch, Rincon and Salem). A referendum election is scheduled for April 8th. The only question on the ballot is whether the district shall be authorized to impose this tax increase. There are no restrictions on how the money raised could be spent. It is a safe bet that at least some of it will be used to advance the group’s political agenda.
The proposed tax is 9.2 cents per one thousand dollars of net taxable real property. According to DASWCD, this translates to approximately $14.82 in additional taxes annually on a property valued at $150,000.
DASWCD is seeking to raise $350,000 annually from this tax levy. The money would be used to hire staff and support general operations. According to DASWCD’s brochure, the money would go towards a range of innocuous projects and activities addressing on-the-ground conservation needs. In reality, under its current leadership, DASWCD has become a vehicle for organizing support for an extreme anti-environmental, anti-government agenda in New Mexico and beyond.
Vote "NO" on April 8th to the proposed tax increase and send the above flyer to five friends encouraging them to do the same.
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