Legislative auditors have reported that the New Mexico State Fair is financially insolvent, the Albuquerque Journal reports, leading to questions about whether state taxpayers should be subsidizing the fair.
Auditors for the Legislative Finance Committee reported the state fair has annually lost an average of $3.4 million since 2006. The fair is supposed to be self-sustaining based on revenue from the annual fair and events held at the fairgrounds, according to the Journal.
Attendance has also been steadily declining, auditors said. They recommended reducing the fair's length from 17 days to 10. Fair officials told lawmakers they have been cutting staff to compensate for lost revenue, the Journal reports.
However, rural legislators asserted that the fair no longer draws enough interest to warrant the contributions of taxpayers statewide, according to the newspaper.
"This is a regional fair. I'm sorry, but I believe it is. And I don't think the rest of the state should be required to pay for it," Rep. Dennis Kintigh told fair officials.