Now Albuquerque City Council members are considering a hike in the gross receipts tax of 1/8% to fund mental healthcare in Albuquerque. This is bad on a lot of levels. Mainly it taxes the poor to help the poor. Also, this is really a state responsibility that Governor Martinez has ignored. Finally, the gross receipts tax has risen to 7% already from the 5.7% rate 15 years ago. That climb in a regressive tax must end or we will make the poor even poorer. (At least Governor Richardson took this tax off food.) Couldn't these needs be taken care of by either raising the income tax, a non regressive tax, or tapping into the 17 billion dollars in state permanent funds? Of course one of these would be a good solution. So lets see if any courageous leader suggests it. I know many will say raising the income tax is bad when efforts are underway to attract business. It probably is. So, maybe going to the deep well of the permanent funds will work until new leadership comes into the Mayor's and Governor's offices.