City commission passes property tax increase

Hike contingent on state, federal governments providing share of project costs.


Last updated 11/7/2019 at 11:46pm

CLOVIS -- After more than two hours of information, and sometimes heated debate, the Clovis city commission moved ahead on a raise in property tax rates to fund the interim groundwater portion of the Ute Water Project.

By a 6-2 vote, the commission approved a tax hike, and introduction of an ordinance rededicating gross receipts taxes, to provide $15 million of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority's $20 million share of an interim groundwater pipeline in Curry and Roosevelt counties. The $90 million project, with $30 million paid by the state and $40 million paid by the federal government, would eventually connect to the Ute Reservoir in Quay County but would in the interim act as a functional water delivery method for water authority members.

The tax rate increase -- $51.80 annually per $100,000 in commercial or residential property -- will not go into effect until and unless the state and federal government provide their $70 million share.

The property tax increase would pay for police and fire services, and an ordinance introduced during the meeting would rededicate the gross receipts taxes currently funding those services toward bond payments for the interim groundwater pipeline.

Commissioners Helen Casaus and Gary Elliott voted against the measure, believing the tax increase should be put to voters.

We will have a more detailed version in Sunday's edition.


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