BERNALILLO — Seeing the continued job growth it supported in recent years, the Sandoval County Commission unanimously approved a resolution to replenish the county’s economic development funds Wednesday.
The new money comes from economic development projects, including payments in lieu of taxes that companies make under industrial revenue bonds, administrative fees from projects and gross receipts tax collected from those businesses. The county will take 25 percent of that revenue and split it between its two economic development accounts.
Commission Vice Chairman Dave Heil told the Observer replenishing the money will help the county pay for incentives for proposed projects such as facility expansion and improvements at Akins Manufacturing in Algodones to create 40 new full-time jobs. That project will be up for discussion in February.
“We didn’t want to set up a new tax. We wanted to kind of take a little portion off of each one of these projects that’s been successful to continue to refund the economic development fund,” he said. “You take the IRB from Intel, a certain amount of the taxes that Intel will pay, we will apply that 25 percent to it… That’s how it will continue to fund.”
Commissioner Jay Block told the Observer that economic development funds were set up in 2017 using payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) from Intel, as per the company’s industrial revenue bonds.
Heil said that fund started with about $3 million and grew to $5 million with the interest it generated.
“You’ve seen the number of small businesses that this commission has supported… We’ve helped created hundreds of jobs because of that… We’re going to keep it replenished,” he said.
The two accounts would equally split the following:
- 25 percent of future PILT the county receives from an IRB project.
- 25 percent of all future administrative fees the county receives from private activity bonds issued to support workforce housing in Sandoval County.
- 25 percent of non-dedicated general fund gross receipts tax revenue generated from Local Economic Development Act projects.
- After a LEDA or IRB project is completed, the county would dedicate 25 percent of the increase in non-dedicated GRT revenue, which is projected by the economic impact assessment, to the accounts over five years.
County Economic Development Director Dora Dominguez told the commission that five projects using county LEDA funds helped create close to 500 jobs, adding every direct job created had a multiplier effect.
Dominguez told the Observer that the county needs to be able to compete to draw in commercial projects.
“Coming up with a funding mechanism that is coming from the very projects that got LEDA funds to begin with, it’s the right path to go,” she said. “It’ll give us the opportunity to have a source of funding.”
Heil said the replenished funds translate into increasing jobs rather than increasing taxes.
“As we do more of these, it builds on itself to have more programs, helping fund future programs,” he said.
County will also serve as St. Felix Pantry’s fiscal agent
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County also OKs money for DWI program, body cameras
The commissioners also voted to adjust the DWI program budget to add an extra $174,000 in revenue, as well as appropriating $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act money for sheriff’s office body cameras.