House OKs bill restricting spaceport tax money

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The House has approved a proposal that would stop Dona Ana and Sierra counties from supporting public school operations with part of the money from a local tax that helped finance New Mexico’s commercial spaceport.

The measure cleared the House on a 40-26 vote Wednesday and goes to the Senate for consideration.

Supporters said if cities and counties use local tax revenue to support school operations it will undermine New Mexico’s system of distributing state aid to equalize educational opportunities in all 89 school districts.

Democratic Rep. Bill McCamley of Las Cruces said the legislation would hurt students in Dona Ana and Sierra counties.

He said Las Cruces schools receive a grant from Dona Ana County to help train students in math, science and technology.

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