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Property taxes lighter for most homeowners

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Property taxes got a little less expensive for most homeowners Thursday under a new tax rate approved by Curry County commissioners.

County Assessor Candace Morrison said the tax rates adopted by commissioners represents about a 2.7 percent drop from last year overall across the county.

Clovis homeowners will get a 1.6 percent decrease in their tax rate and businesses in the city will see their rates drop about 1.3 percent, Morrison said.

Commission Chairman Frank Blackburn noted part of the reason for the decrease in tax rates is the county paid off a 20-year bond issue this year that generated the cash to build the existing jail.

“So now,” Blackburn said, “the county has no bond issue debt.”

Morrison said another reason for the drop in tax rates is cattle inventory in the county remains down.

Morrison said property tax rates vary by community in a complicated formula devised by the state.

Morrison’s office determines the value of property each year and owners have 30 days to file an appeal if they disagree. Once the value of the property is determined — it increased overall about 3 percent countywide — tax rates are established and levied against about one-third of the value, she said.

In Clovis, homeowners are now being taxed at a rate of about 2 percent of that one-third value, according to Morrison.

The tax rate was one of three items considered. Commissioners also:

• Approved a $20 budget adjustment.

• Approved a trial run for a special program that allows jail inmates to order hot food from a special menu at their own cost. Inmates will continue being served meals the county must provide at no cost while they are incarcerated. The service is offered by the same firm that provides all inmate meals, Trinity Services Group.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding for an exchange of services valued at $5,000 with Melrose.

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