How tax dollars of very poor Sandoval County subsidize one of the richest corporations in the world, mighty Intel 

 

The $8 billion IRB previously (1995) given to Intel cost taxpayers a total of $568 million, as reported in the April 27, 1993 Weekly Alibi.  The breakdown was:

  • $441 million in unpaid property tax

  • $70 million in unpaid sales tax

  • $55 million in investment tax credit

  • $2 million in employee training funds

This $568 million does not include unspecified additional corporate tax breaks to Intel that could not be calculated.

And now residents of Sandoval County – one of New Mexico’s poorest counties – are again being forced to subsidize Intel, one of the world’s wealthiest corporations.  This time for an IRB twice as big as the previous, largest IRB ever given in this country.

Consider the following facts:

Property 

The 180 acres Intel occupies was a gift from the Sandoval County Commission.  With residential land in Corrales selling for $125,000 per acre, choice commercial property right on Highway 528 should easily be worth twice as much.  Therefore, $45 million is a conservative estimate of the value of the 180 land given to Intel. 

Schools 

Intel has repeatedly taken credit for paying $30 million for the Rio Rancho High School.  However, the recent BBER study found that Intel’s previous $8 billion IRB cost the Rio Rancho Public Schools $17.5 million for just two years.  Thus, in fewer than four years Intel’s tax-deductible “gift” will be more than offset by continuing higher annual costs to the school district.  How much will the recent $16 billion IRB add to this loss? 

Moreover, what kind of a “gift” was it when Intel retained the school deed to use as a bargaining chip to get an additional $16 billion IRB? 

Property Tax 

I recently sold my Corrales home.  Based on the selling price and latest tax bill, my property tax rate was just over 0.5% of the market value.  Yet, Intel, whose property value is at least $5 billion, pays zero property tax! 

Thus, Sandoval County taxpayers are paying far higher property taxes than they should, while Intel pays none. 

Conclusion 

Commissioner Ely and other Intel apologists have repeatedly told us what a “great deal” Sandoval County is getting because Intel has agreed to pay $80 million over the next 15 years.  As cited above, the previous IRB has already cost taxpayers more than six times that amount! 

Mr. Ely conveniently neglects to mention the massive costs to taxpayers for the previous IRB, or the likely costs to taxpayers for his latest give-away to Intel.   

After serving as Intel’s errand boy, at the expense of his taxpaying constituents, Mr. Ely has wisely chosen not to seek reelection.   

Many residents are disappointed that Mr. Ely’s withdrawal has deprived them of the opportunity to vote him out of office.