Town hall meetings set for tax discussion
Clovis city officials have scheduled a series of town hall meetings beginning Friday to discuss the proposed quarter-percent gross receipts tax election scheduled for March 2.
“Over the last several years, compensation and benefits of city employees has been an issue,” Mayor David Lansford told directors of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce recently.
“It is the desire of the management team at city hall, and the city commissioners, that our employees are compensated in a fashion we can be proud of, and that is competitive in the market place.
“We also need to do some ‘home improvement’,” he said.
Clovis is at least 10 years behind in street maintenance efforts, he said. Public safety equipment is getting old and needs to be replaced. “The need to manage storm waters is critical.”
If citizens approve the tax hike, the city would generate — based on current receipts, he said — $1.2 million a year. “That would be from 25 cents raised on every $100 spent.”
The tax increase would provide funding for maintenance, equipment replacement and other capital improvement needs. In so doing, he said, money already earmarked for those purposes could be used instead to bring city employees up to a more competitive pay level.
City Manager Ray Mondragon told chamber directors the economic development in Clovis has resulted in more area residents coming here to shop instead of driving all the way to Lubbock or Amarillo.
With a gross-receipts tax, “everyone pays, as opposed to a property tax,” Mondragon said.
Lansford said the window of opportunity for Clovis to increase its gross-receipts tax will expire in two years.
Chase Gentry, executive director of the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation, said the tax rate here is 6.375 percent now, and if the increase is approved, it will go to 6.625 percent.
The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department reports on its Web site the gross receipts tax in Portales is 6.8125 percent, and in Tucumcari, 6.5625 percent. Sales taxes in Texas vary, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ Web site, but the maximum allowed is 8.25 percent.
Additional information about the proposed tax increase will be discussed at the town hall meetings. Early voting has already begun at city hall.
Town hall meetings to discuss the proposed .25 percent gross receipts tax will be held at:
7 p.m. Friday, Yucca Junior High.
7 p.m. Feb. 23, Lockwood School.
7 p.m. Feb. 24, Zia School.
7 p.m. Feb. 25, Sandia School.
7 p.m. Feb. 26, La Casita School.
7 p.m. Feb. 27, Gattis Junior High.