A bond represents a debt for money borrowed by a government to finance capital improvement projects. The State of New Mexico promises to repay the amount borrowed, plus interest, over a period of time for each General Obligation bond that is approved by voters. The bonds are called "General Obligation" because payment of the debt service (principal plus interest) is a general obligation of the State and its property owners through property taxation. According to the Board of Finance Division of the NM Department of Finance and Administration, the specific amount of property taxes collected in a given year is attributable to a number of factors, including the amount of debt service required for existing general obligation bonds, the projected debt service required for the new bond issue, the latest assessed valuation of net taxable property, cash balances in bond debt service accounts, the date of issuance, and the actual interest rate obtained on the bond sale. Based on the assumption that all four bond issues will be passed by voters, the property tax year 2016 mill levy has been set at 1.36 mills, which is the same as the 2015 rate. The State Board of Finance estimates that over a ten-year period, the four issues on the ballot would cost approximately $9.34 per $100,000 of asset value. Of the annual average $9.34, Bond Issue A accounts for $0.78, Bond Issue B accounts for $0.51, Bond Issue C accounts for $7.14, and Bond Issue D accounts for $0.91.
2016 Capital Projects General Obligation Bond Act
The New Mexico Legislature passed the 2016 Capital Projects General Obligation Bond Act detailing projects that would be funded by these bonds. No bonds will be issued or sold under the act until the state's registered voters have voted upon and approved the bonds. Each bond is voted upon separately with a "For" or "Against" question.
Summary: The four 2016 bond issues ask for voter approval to issue general obligation bonds as follows:
Bond Issue A, in an amount not to exceed $15,440,000 to make capital expenditures for senior citizen facility improvements, construction, and equipment acquisition projects;
Bond Issue B, in an amount not to exceed $10,167,000 to make capital expenditures for academic, public school, tribal, and public library resource acquisitions;
Bond Issue C, in an amount not to exceed $142,356,000 to make capital expenditures for certain higher educational, tribal, and special schools capital improvements and acquisitions; and
Bond Issue D, in an amount not to exceed $18,196,000 to make capital expenditures for capital improvements and acquisitions for state police, public safety communications and national guard facilities statewide.
The total for all four questions, including bond issuance costs, is $186,159,000. A complete breakdown of the designated projects under each bond issue can be found on the New Mexico Legislature's website: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/16%20Regular/final/SB0122.pdf
The following projects have been specifically designated for funding by the sale of Bond Issue B.
Cultural Affairs Department: $3,000,000 for equipment, library furniture, fixtures and supplemental library resource acquisitions, including print, non-print and electronic resources, and for the purchase and installation of broadband internet equipment and infrastructure at nontribal public libraries statewide; and $750,000 for equipment, library furniture, fixtures and supplemental library resource acquisitions, including print, non-print and electronic resources, and for the purchase and installation of broadband internet equipment and infrastructure at tribal libraries statewide.
Higher Education Department: $3,250,000 for supplemental library resource acquisitions, including books, equipment, electronic resources and collaborative library resources and information technology projects, for academic libraries statewide.
Public Education Department: $3,000,000 for supplemental library resource acquisitions, including print, non-print and electronic resources, at public school libraries statewide.
The following higher education institutions have been specifically designated for funding by the sale of Bond C.
Eastern New Mexico University Total $12,700,000
Community Colleges various schools Total $32,350,000
NM School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Total $1,200,000
Highlands University Total $4,500,000
Mining and Technology, NM Institute Total $5,500,000
Military Institute Total $4,856,200
NM School for the Deaf Total $2,000,000
New Mexico State University Total $27,500,000
Northern New Mexico State School Total $1,000,000
University of New Mexico Total $34,500,000
Western New Mexico University Total $5,000,000
The following projects have been specifically designated for funding by the sale of Bond Issue D.
Department of Public Safety: $7,000,000 to plan, design and construct a new state police crime laboratory and evidence and records facility, including expansion of the existing crime laboratory, at the department of public safety headquarters in Santa Fe in Santa Fe County.
Department of Information Technology: $5,000,000 to plan, design, purchase, install and implement infrastructure to stabilize and modernize public safety communications statewide.
Department of Military Affairs: $4,000,000 to plan, design and construct the Las Cruces national guard readiness center in Dona Ana County, and $2,000,000 for improvements, repairs and demolition and to purchase and install systems to improve energy efficiency and for staging areas at facilities statewide.
General Obligation Bond Projects Chart by County
General Obligation Bond Projects Chart by Agency
LWVNM, 9/2/16. Information provided by the NM Department of Finance and Administration.