The group will vote on a new rural addressing system for the February hearing
The Chaves County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday not to grant a property tax break for low-income residents.
In another action the five commissioners agreed to hold a public hearing at their next meeting to consider introducing a new addressing system for rural areas. This meeting is now scheduled for February 18th at 9am.
The commissioners voted against a discount regulation without discussion after no one showed up at the meeting or online who wanted to speak when the request for public comment was made.
District officials had spoken out against the rebate, but a 1994 state law mandated that local governments that levy property taxes without a low-income property tax rebate must hold a public hearing in January of every odd year to see if there is any public interest in the deduction.
The discount would only be available to certain residents of the county who earn $ 24,000 or less per year in terms of gross modified income.
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Bill Williams, Interim County Manager, read the introduction to the discussion, which outlined the county’s opposition.
One argument against the discount was that residents would only get a discount for the city and county portion of the taxes levied, not the state, public school, or bond portion.
Another reason was that the county had yet to pay the reimbursed amounts but could hold a special election to ask voters if they wanted to approve a $ 1 million increase in property tax to cover the portions reimbursed. A third claim was that the rebate is based on state-reported income, which the county says could be manipulated.
The rebate has never been waived in Chaves County. Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties are currently adopting it, according to a spokesman for the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department.
A new rural addressing system would benefit rescue workers, county property inspectors, postal and parcel delivery agencies and local residents, Louis Jaramillo, Chaves county planning and zoning director, told commissioners.
“During our census, we found that a large number of residents had nowhere published their addresses,” he said. “You could probably walk half a mile down a street and find an address nowhere, and that makes it difficult for many of us, including us who are not law enforcement agencies but just conduct inspections. We see something suspicious, but we don’t know what the address is. We just know what the road is like and we have to sit there and describe where we are. “
He said the county intends to repeal the existing rural addressing ordinance and replace it with a new one, which it called “simplified” and a set of guidelines for address and new street name allocation in unincorporated areas of the country the county. The guidelines would also include guidelines for street signs and other address signs.
Jaramillo said residents would also be asked to make their addresses visible.
“We’d provide the numbers, the post plates, the metal and all of those things,” Jaramillo said.
He said the proposed regulation will be available to the public after February 1. It is posted on the county’s website at www.chavescounty.gov and on its Facebook page, and is available from the Planning & Zoning Office at 1 St. Mary’s location.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710 extension. 351 or at [email protected].