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Albuquerque council member seeks excise tax for addiction, MH services

April 21, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Albuquerque, N.M., City Council member Klarissa Pena says more coordinated efforts are needed that involve nonprofit behavioral health agencies and the justice system, and she is suggesting a new excise tax in the city to finance addiction and mental health services.

Pena is proposing a one-eighth cent gross receipts tax that she says would help offset hits that the local behavioral health system has taken in recent years from elimination of a tax for basic services and from cuts in social-service programs.

Pena said in a news release, "Spending on behavioral health in New Mexico has been drastically reduced while the need for these and other critical services has increased substantially."

She added, "The intent of the 'Essential Services' tax is to fund new or expand programs to implement a full continuum of treatment, housing and case management services that promote recovery for persons with a disabling illness related to behavioral health and chemical dependency," to reduce unnecessary justice system involvement and chronic homelessness.   

Read the source article at ABQJournal Online

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