Home New mexico tax GRIP law adopted in Belen

GRIP law adopted in Belen


BELEN — The city of Belen has a new tool designed to attract new businesses to the Hub City.

By unanimous vote last week, city councilors passed a new Ordinance, Gross Revenue Investment Policy, which sets out a procedure for funding, through reimbursement of gross revenue taxes, the development and construction of infrastructure .

Steven Tomita, director of city development services, presented the ordinance to council for consideration and said it follows in conjunction with the city’s Local Economic Development Act ordinance.

“We can help offset the costs for companies considering coming to Belen, Tomita told the board. “While the LEDA program focuses on very large industrial facilities and warehouses, it prohibits retail participation except in two circumstances.”

Tomita said GRIP is allowed to help retail businesses if the population remains below 10,000 people.

“It’s focused on large malls or entertainment centers, but also allows us to help smaller retail businesses that can’t afford to make public improvements,” Tomita said.

With the new ordinance, the city can reimburse a developer for the cost of public infrastructure related to the development. The city could also reimburse impact fees where reimbursement is essential to bring the business to Belen.

“GRIP allows us to use the gross receipts tax that is collected from that business…and if it (the business) needs to make public improvements such as curbs and gutters, extension of utilities , setting up medians, and it becomes too excessive of a cost, the city can reimburse up to 50% of the gross revenue collected,” Tomita said.

According to the new ordinance, the city is authorized to enter into a GRIP agreement for one or more of the following:

  1. The acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, construction of extensions or the realization of any improvements to public car parks.
  2. The acquisition, extension, enlargement, repair or other improvement or maintenance of storm sewers and other drainage improvements, sanitary sewers, sewage treatment plants or other public utility infrastructure. water, including but not limited to the acquisition of rights of way and water rights, or any combination of the foregoing.
  3. The purchase, acquisition or refurbishment of firefighting equipment or any combination of the foregoing.
  4. The reconstruction, extension, resurfacing, maintenance, repair or improvement of existing lanes, streets, roads or any combination of the foregoing, or for the construction or acquisition of new lanes, streets, roads or any combination thereof, including the acquisition of any transit rights or tracks and transfer facilities.
  5. The purchase, acquisition or clearing of any land, or the purchase or acquisition of land improvement for vacant space.
  6. The acquisition, construction, equipment, furnishing, addition, renovation, rehabilitation, beautification or improvement of public parks, public recreational facilities or any combination thereof.
  7. Reimbursement of Impact Fees which provides a specific incentive for the establishment of retail in the city.
  8. The acquisition or construction of any other related public infrastructure that enhances and encourages the establishment of new retail businesses in the city.

Tomita said GRIP funding could have helped Love’s when the New Mexico Department of Transportation told them they would have to pay to rebuild new on- and off-ramps to Interstate 25.

“Fortunately, they didn’t have to, and the DOT didn’t have the basis to require this from Love’s,” Tomita said. “But in terms of DOT and the various public improvements that we need to make over time, the expansion of public services, I’m bringing the GRIP program back to the board for consideration for adoption.”

Tomita said that before a GRIP project is funded, the city council will hold a public hearing and the company will be required to provide an estimate of tax revenue. When and if GRIP funds are approved, the city will pay the developer half of the city’s share of the total GRT attributed to that company’s retail sales.

“It’s something we’re going to be dealing with more and more frequently as Main (Street) and Reinken (Avenue) will be involved in future development,” Belen Mayor Robert Noblin said.

In other cases counsel:

  • Approved the closure of Caldwell Avenue to and from the north side of Reinken Avenue, as Allsup plans to build a store at Del Rio Plaza;
  • Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Pueblo d’Isleta for intergovernmental support for emergency response;
  • Approved the appointment of Maggie McDonald to the Belen Historic Properties Review Board;
  • Approved reappointment of library board members Kathy Pickering, June Romero, Stephen Cohen, Holly Chavez, and Frances Zeller;
  • Approval of first of two 10-year ground lease extensions with Lightening Bar A hangars at Belen Regional Airport;
  • Approval of a one-year lease for the former fire hall at 116 Sixth Street for the Belen Area Food Pantry. The nonprofit, which provides food for 1,100 people a month, will operate from the building and pay $600 a month in rent;
  • Out-of-state travel approved for Belen Fire Marshal Kenneth Vance to attend Alabama Fire School.