For a couple reasons, it is time to think about property taxes for a few minutes. Usually we just pay them and sometimes complain that they are too high. We never complain if they are too low.The first payment due date for 2014 property taxes in New Mexico is fast approaching (tax bills sent out by the County in which the property is located). On November 10th, the owner owes the first half of 2014 taxes. The 2nd half is due April 10th next year. Taxes are paid in arrears. With both due dates there is a 30 grace period following before penalties and interest would kick in.
The Santa Fe New Mexican had a recent article about how property taxes are going up (beginning with 2014 taxes – the bills being sent out right now) because of the public schools need for money to provide and upgrade computer-related training and teaching in our school system. The public schools do not have to put a requirement for said money up for a public vote. Some property owners will question why there is an increase they did not vote on. That is the way our state and county have organized property tax accounting and its disbursement. Other capital improvements our municipalities want to make usually have to be voted in by the registered voters, such as parks,streets and general infrastructure that would improve and benefit the area and its citizens.
You will likely read about how unfair the tax increase is. But is it? For some 25 years now I have heard the magic formula to improving the economy and keeping young adults living here is education. Yet where do we perennially rank in education? If the millions to be spent helps us teach our children more important and up to date information to help them in life and in their careers, then it is money well spent. If you don’t have kids or grandkids in the school system, should you be against a property tax increase that benefits our children? I would say no. It is something often opposed, but also often makes the community better and stronger. Santa Fe can be made more attractive to families and their future chances of staying here.
For this week, look for your tax bill in your mailbox and compare with last year. It probably is going to be higher. The payoff and reward for that increase will be years in the making. But we have to start with a good foundation in order to build a strong and stable home. This is an excellent foundation to build.
If you are a new homeowner here, check with the County or feel free to contact me to see if the tax account for your property is correctly registered in your name. It is the property owner’s responsibility to communicate the correct mailing information to the County. If you have not received your property tax bill by about November 5th, they probably don’t have your name and address correctly entered in their records. Contact them or contact me (or anyone else that you know can help you).
The County Assessor’s office is downtown, at the corner of Palace and Grant.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to look into it for you.