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Landowners in Chaves County will receive their fall tax bills a bit late this year, according to County Treasurer Charlotte Andrade, and entities that depend on disbursements from tax funds will see a delay in their disbursements.
Andrade explained to commissioners that a change in state election laws created by the passage and signing of House Bill 407 in April 2019 allows public school districts to have bond issues on ballots local elections and ensure that the increased tax rates take effect in the same tax year if voters approve the bond issuance.
In the 2021 local elections, the Elida Municipal School District issued a bond issue.
A small part of this district is in Chaves County, while most of it is in Roosevelt County. Andrade said Chaves County property in Elida District accounts for about $ 86,000 of the county’s tax roll, or about $ 34.5 million per year.
But the results of the 2021 local election will not be known until election day on November 2 at the earliest and will not be officially certified, given that the school district is a multi-county jurisdiction, until the secretary State of New Mexico is doing the canvassing. of the election results on 23 November.
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By state law, fall tax bills are sent out on November 1, with entities receiving their bulk of the money in November and December, Andrade said. According to the county’s website, the groups receiving a portion of the county’s property taxes are the state of New Mexico, Chaves County, school and university districts, the city of Roswell, the county flood control district. de Chaves and the water and water conservation districts.
Due to the new state law and the Elida bond issuance, Andrade said, tax bills will be sent out on December 1, due December 10 and overdue on January 10. Entities receiving funds will see most of the money in December and January.
Protest times are also affected, Andrade said.
She and assessor Sandra Stewart, whose office must certify county tax rates before the treasurer’s office can begin billing and collection, added that they had been exploring options to certify rates and send out invoices on the regular schedule to property owners outside of the Elida district, but determined that they could not do so for several reasons, including that their software systems are not able to adapt to this.
“The only way for me to go back and make changes (to the certified tax rates) is if Charlotte refuses it,” said Stewart. “Once she accepts it and goes to the company that prepares these tax bills, we’re kind of on a road where we can’t turn around. I want you to know that we spent a lot of time researching it. … On my side, there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do other than be ready when these rates become official.
Andrade said the same issue would arise again in 2022 and 2023, when Dexter and Lake Arthur school districts are expected to have bond issues.
State county treasurers could ask the New Mexico legislature to resolve the issue, however.
“This is one of the things that we can address in our legislative session, our branch of treasurers (of the New Mexico County Association), as we move forward into January,” she said. .
She said some other counties encountered the issue of bond issuance in the 2019 local election and her office consulted with them on how to proceed.
According to a resolution signed by Elida school board officials on July 13, the district is asking voters to decide whether to increase property taxes by $ 2 for every $ 1,000 of net taxable assessment from 2021 to 2025 in order to enable the district to raise funds for educational technology. purchases and building improvements.
Andrade said she plans to brief taxpayers during county events and with media notices.
Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at [email protected]