New Mansion Tax Law Passes In Santa Fe

Voters in Santa Fe, where the median home price is too high for many people, have approved a ballot item to fund affordable housing efforts in the city. The initiative, which provides a designated revenue stream for the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, was approved with roughly 73% vote.

According to Mayor Alan Webber, the benefits of the tax are undeniable. The tax, however, is still up in the air.

The Santa Fe Association of Realtors, a prominent opponent of the initiative, sued to overturn it because it would reduce housing sales. Santa Fe Housing Opportunity Partnership spokesperson Donna Reynolds expressed concern that the practice might be illegal despite its widespread acceptance. The so-called “mansion tax” would only apply to the portion of the sale price that is more than $1 million.

The City of Santa Fe’s seven-member Community Development Commission, which advises the Office of Affordable Housing and makes recommendations to the mayor and City Council, recently invited voters to envision a more affordable, walkable, and family-friendly Santa Fe. According to projections, the excise tax might contribute as much as $6 million annually to the trust fund.

The proposed tax attracted the city’s most significant funding of any ballot measure. The PAC that fought the proposed tax had considerable backing from the local Realtors group and the New Mexico group of Realtors. United for Affordable Housing, a PAC that supports the tax, has collected over $133,000.

Andrea Romero, a Democrat state representative and chair of the United for Affordable Housing campaign, said voters felt comfortable supporting a measure providing additional resources to an already established program with a good track record of helping people they know.

More people voted for the ballot proposal than in the previous two municipal elections combined, including the 2021 mayoral election.