LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Dona Ana County Commissioners formally expressed their opposition against proposed legislation that would take Spaceport America gross receipts tax dollars and spread them statewide.
Commissioners voted unanimously on an ordinance informing state lawmakers they want to keep money that is funding science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs in the county.
"They should leave things as they are the way the public had voted on them," said District 4 Commissioner Wayne Hancock.
When voters in Dona Ana County and Sierra County approved to fund Spaceport America, they also voted in favor keeping a part of sales tax dollars to pay for those STEM programs.
State Representative Patricia Lundstrom said the money should be distributed evenly for all children throughout the state.
"If that were the case then the rest of the state should pay the gross receipts tax for paying for the spaceport and that's not what's happening," Hancock said.
Commissioner Hancock added expressing opposition to the proposal is the first step in keeping the funding as originally intended.
He said the board will be monitoring the ongoing discussions in Santa Fe very closely when the session convenes in late January.
"This is very important to the public and the commission," he said.