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Sandoval County touts billions to spur new business

~Signpost Staff

Sandoval County is now on record offering up to fifty billion dollars to spur economic development. That’s $50,000,000,000, but it’s not cash up front from taxpayers. Instead it’s in the form of industrial revenues bonds (IRB) sold through the county to investors in one lump or smaller pieces but leaving qualifying businesses to pay them back.

“This one is basically saying Sandoval County is open for business,” said Commissioner Glenn Walters, who proposed the idea. “This is the amount we’re putting on the table: one million to fifty billion dollars.”

While the county may see income from handling an IRB, it also is trading tax breaks for jobs. Those breaks include an exemption from property taxes until the bonds are paid off.

Sandoval Economic Alliance President and CEO Jami Grindatto later said the alliance will be touting the IRB plan as it recruits employers for the area. “We’ll certainly take it on the road and start talking about it,” he said.

Sandoval County is not alone in offering high-dollar enticements.

In July, the Los Lunas Village Council in Valencia County authorized up to thirty billion dollars in IRBs in five billion dollar increments for a data-storage company later revealed to be a subsidiary of Facebook, Inc. Los Lunas is competing with West Jordan, Utah, for the data facility.

Sandoval County is no stranger to such big numbers offering record-setting IRB issues to Intel Corp. of two billion dollars in 1993, eight billion in 1995, and $16 billion in 2004. The money was used to expand Intel’s computer-chip plant located on a patch of the county just outside Rio Rancho.

As part of one IRB deal, Intel chipped in $32 million toward the construction of Rio Rancho High School.

 

 
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