Facts about General Obligation (GO) Bond C for Higher Education

General Obligation Bond C is a statewide bond issue to raise funds for 33 public colleges, universities and specialty schools in 23 cities and 21 counties across New Mexico.

Investing in our future. Funds from the GO Bond C will invest in the state-owned facilities we taxpayers have already paid for. They will allow colleges, universities and schools to repair and renovate their facilities, improve safety and update their technology.* New Mexico students need and deserve to study and learn in safe, modern facilities. Up-to-date technology will keep our state’s best and brightest students in New Mexico. For many of these public institutions, GO Bond C is the only source of funding for these critically needed upgrades

No tax rate increase. GO Bond C will not raise property tax rates. It is not a new tax, but a continuation of an existing property tax. If GO Bond C does not pass, property tax rates will not necessarily go down. In 2010, the GO bond for higher education failed, and to the best of our knowledge property taxes did not decrease in a single New Mexico county following that election.

Jobs. Projects funded by GO Bond C will create about 1,500 new jobs in construction, architecture and related fields. Workers in these jobs will boost local businesses and add to local gross receipts tax bases, which is needed now more than ever.

Economy. New Mexico’s colleges, universities and specialty schools are critical to our state’s economy and play an important role in its revitalization. According to the New Mexico Education Department 2019 Annual Report, as of 2018 more than 122,000 students attended classes taught by nearly 7,000 faculty members, not to mention the thousands of staff employed at these institutions. For the 2018-2019 Academic Year, more than 30,000 certificates and degrees were awarded.

Growth. In order for New Mexico to grow, we need a well-educated, well-trained workforce. Collegeboard.com research reported that a 1% increase in college graduates in a community benefits everyone, increasing the wages of workers without a high school diploma by 1.9% and the wages of workers with a high school diploma by 1.6%.

*The only exception is funding for UNM Health Sciences Center to build a badly needed nursing and population health facility.

Investment. Obtaining higher education can translate to a higher salary and increased lifetime earnings. It is a good investment for students.

Associate’s Degrees and Certificates

Bachelor’s and Graduate Degrees

  • According to the Pew Trusts, the average college graduate makes $570,000 more than the average high school graduate over a lifetime. Research on Upjohn.org states career earnings for college graduates are 71% to 136% higher than those of high school graduates.
  • Researchers at Georgetown University reported 99% of job growth from 2010-2016 went to workers with associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees or graduate degrees.
  • According to 2019 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly median salary for individuals with a bachelor’s degree was $1,248, compared to an average weekly salary of $746 for high school graduates. For individuals with a master’s degree, the average weekly median salary was $1,497.

A college degree has a return on investment (ROI) of 14%, larger than the long-term ROI on stocks (7%) or bonds (3%), according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Higher education is affordable in New Mexico. In September 2019, move.org revealed research that New Mexico is the second-least expensive state for college tuition in the United States. According to a September 2017 article on credit.com, New Mexico students enjoy an average return of 151% on their college degrees.

Higher education requires multiple learning formats. Many degrees and certificates (healthcare, trades, technology, etc.) REQUIRE a blend of classroom, hands-on learning and online instruction, so it’s important to invest in multiple methods of learning.

Supporting GO Bond C will NOT increase tax rates, but will make a difference now and for generations to come. It is a good investment in New Mexico.

Facts about the Two Largest Projects That Would Be Funded By General Obligation (GO) Bond C for Higher Education

The two largest projects to be funded by the bond this year are:

  1. $30 million for a Nursing and Population Health building at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and
  2. $21 million to renovate and replace science and engineering facilities for agricultural research and an IT (Information Technology) building at New State University in Las Cruces.

Colleges of Nursing & Population Health at UNM

  • The new building would replace a College of Nursing that is more than 40 years old and does not meet modern educational standards.
  • The new building would also bring together Population Health faculty and staff. Currently, personnel are spread out across multiple buildings and Population Health has only one (1) small classroom holding a maximum of 15 students.
  • The new building would replace current outdated laboratories and accommodate rapidly expanding research activities.
  • New Mexico has a statewide nursing shortage of more than 3,800 nurses. The new building would allow the College of Nursing and the College of Population Health to enroll more students. An estimated 1,280 new nurses would graduate within five years after the building is funded.
  • The UNM College of Nursing is ranked Number 1 in New Mexico, Number 6 in the Mountain West, Number 15 in the southwestern U.S. and among the best colleges in the country for its Master of Science of Nursing and Doctor in Nursing degree programs.
  • The UNM College of Nursing is ranked Number 11 in Nurse-Midwifery and has been honored as one of the top programs in the U.S.
  • Founded in 2016, the College of Population Health has already attracted more than $3 million in annual research funding.
  • Population health students participate in internships with the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Maternal and Child Health Program. Graduate students volunteered as COVID-19 contract tracers with NMDOH.
  • More than 5,000 alumni of the College of Nursing and the College of Population health have stayed in New Mexico. Many are working with underserved and rural communities. They are on the front line, helping our state provide needed health care to our most vulnerable residents.

Science & Engineering Facilities for Agricultural Research and IT at NMSU

Agricultural Modernization and Educational Facilities, Phase 2

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is important to New Mexico. Agricultural and food processing industries generated nearly $11 billion and 51,000 jobs for the state according to a recent study.

This project will focus on improved laboratory, research and classroom spaces for the College of Agriculture, including the Student Learning and Livestock Outreach Center, Animal Physiology & Metabolism Facility, and Equine Paddocks & Arenas; Water Conservation & Rangeland Ecology Facility Greenhouse, and Biomedical Research Building, Phase 2.

The new, modernized facilities will provide a central location to teach and conduct life-changing research in human-animal interactions, as well as conservation, ecological and cross-disciplinary biomedical research.

The new facilities will also provide a centralized location for community youth events and therapeutic riding sessions, and will be a new home for statewide 4-H Future Farmers of America (FFA) conferences.

Milton Hall Data Center Infrastructure Upgrades

Improvements will replace outdated or deficient systems and create technology for today’s learning environment. The project includes updates and replacement of data centers, computer systems and equipment, campus infrastructure and classroom technology. IT is more critical now than ever before as many programs are moving online due to COVID-19 and student demand. IT is also critical in creating competitive, world-class clinical settings across many disciplines so that students can combine hands-on education with high-tech diagnostic and educational tools.

Remember, supporting these two critical projects will NOT increase tax rates, but they are critically needed now and for the future