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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Urgent: CVNM Call to Action on SunCal-Westland TIDDs

From Conservation Voters New Mexico:

Call to Action:
HB 470 & SB 249, SunCal / Westland TIDDs: Oppose

Right now, our Legislature is considering siphoning off $408 million precious taxpayer dollars in a tax deal called a TIDD (Tax Increment Development District) – to a developer from Irvine, California. That developer is SunCal, a sprawl real estate developer from California that wants our tax dollars diverted for their project. Especially in these tough economic times, we need that half a billion dollars for environmental protection, health care and education in New Mexico, not sprawl development.

The bill, House Bill 470, is imminently up for a vote on the House Floor.

Please call your representative NOW to let them know that you OPPOSE HB 470, the SunCal TIDD Bill. Please click here to find contact info for your representative. Click here to find your House district if you're not sure who your representative is.

Recently, some articles on SunCal and TIDDs have been featured in the Albuquerque Journal. For more information on this issue, please take a moment to read them:

Finally, this fight against special interest polluters requires resources. We can't do this without your help. Please make a gift today to help us ensure environmental victory for New Mexico's air, land, and water!

Visit Our Website at CVNM.org to View Our Environmental Priorities, Legislative Schedule, & Daily Wins & Setbacks. Questions or comments? E-mail us at info@cvnm.org or call 505-992-VOTE.

March 17, 2009 at 12:09 PM in Corporatism, Economy, Populism, Environment, Land Issues, Local Politics, NM Legislature 2009, Sprawl Development | Permalink


It's so obvious that this is a bad deal by now. Even the Journal is against it. The company has more than a dozen bankrupt projects. They operate in California like a bunch of swine and leave projects to rot.

The House needs to kill the TIDDs and stop this in its tracks. Passing it during what could be a depression is nonsense.

The legislators must know all this but they keep on kissing up to Sun Cal and Westland. It's beyond crooked. I don't know what will stop them.

Posted by: G. E. S. | Mar 17, 2009 3:32:56 PM


Hold off on this one just a sec; I think we got some bad info here.

I’ve looked at the particulars and here’s the rub. There is no extra $408 million for healthcare, the environment and education to ‘give away.’ Turns out our lawmakers actually rigged this TIDD deal thing pretty well. The SunCal folks only get a reimbursement from a piece of NEW revenues they bring into the state (I thought this read a little too bad to be true – even in NM).

It also turns out that those abandoned projects in California were all related to SunCal’s dealings with Lehman Brothers. The land here, however, is being backed by DE Shaw. They look like a progressive (academia meets wall street) operation. Check them out at www.deshaw.com before lining up to slaughter this goose.


MoHO (Mind of Her Own)

Posted by: MoHO | Mar 18, 2009 10:57:47 AM

Hey Mind of Her Own, which PR outfit do you work for? I have more than a hunch.

Yes we know it's on future taxes-for ALMOST 30 YEARS that is. If this is such a super product why does Suncal need to be paid to do it? If it will be so profitable and bring in so much economic activity the state's taxpayers shouldn't need to give Suncal $408 million. That's on top of the money they'll be getting from city-county TIDDs.

The proposed legislation will also give Suncal money if businesses move from another part of town to the Westland area. You claim it's only if it's revenues that come here from out of state. That's a lie. Suncal will "cannibalize" other neighborhoods in Albuquerque leaving them in a downturn. This isn't progress.

You also failed to mention that Suncal's failed projects in California have been left to rot and cause big problems with flooding, fires and criminals hanging out there. Suncal could care less about the communities they ruin.

Posted by: No to Suncal | Mar 18, 2009 11:46:39 AM

Guess I need to clarify further. The TIDDs before lawmakers right now require the owners to take the risk that the project will indeed bring in the new “12,500 jobs”, and grow the tax base by nearly a billion dollars.

The big ‘IF’ is on them, not New Mexico taxpayers. IF they walk their talk for new revenues and jobs, THEN they get to retire those bonds (get paid back) with up to half the tax revenues their master planning and early investment in infrastructure nets us as a community.

I know TIDDs have not always worked so well in the Rustbelt where they are heavy on houses and light on industry. We have seen our unique and progressive NM TIDD law do what our leaders intended when they approved them for Mesa del Sol, which has Schott Solar and the Q Movie Studios going in or already operating, as well a couple others I will touch on for the second part of your points.

As to the question will it “cannibalize” other parts of town? Senator Fischmann had a bill attempting to address the question and did a thoughtful piece in the Journal which our friends at Conservation Voters (I am a member, by the way) neglected to post a link to. It’s worth digging up because Fischmann (who is an opponent of TIDDs himself) sticks to facts and doesn’t dream up diversions of tax revenue that don’t exist, or scare people that real funds for education, environment and health are in peril.

From my read, the problem with Senator Fischmann’s SB 576 (http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20576&year=09) is that it would define two other Mesa del Sol success stories as ‘cannibalization.’ This is because Advent Solar is a home grown business with technology developed at the labs and ‘spun off.’

I have a real problem thinking of this as a genuine jobs and taxes ‘in-state’ shift, however. The labs, after all, have a history of developing new technologies that exit the state shortly after they exit the gates of Kirtland AFB. This one would not have stayed in NM if the only TIDD site we could offer them was Winrock Mall.

The same holds true for Fidelity at Mesa del Sol. They too already do business in NM, so they would technically also be called ‘cannibalizaton.’ The reality is they are a big outfit and their new facility could have gone anywhere in the country.

In fact, just a little more detective work might be in order. I think I’ll drive out to Mesa del Sol tonight (after I get off from my cool PR job) and look for any firm that really used to be set up in town.

Meanwhile, the reality seems to be that we’re being fed a convenient ‘bad guy’ so we have something to rally against.

Posted by: MoHO | Mar 18, 2009 5:17:53 PM

Try DW Turner. Ring a bell?

Posted by: PD | Mar 18, 2009 6:06:14 PM