Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales council to consider major tax hike

Portales City Council members on Tuesday will consider an increase in property taxes of more than 150%.

City Manager Sarah Austin said the city tentatively approved the tax increase in February, but final approval will be decided in Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Building.

City records show a mill generates $1 for every $1,000 in taxable value. The current mill rate is 2.796 for residential property owners and 3.192 for non-residential property owners.

In February, council members tentatively agreed to increase the mill rate by 4.425 for residential and non-residential property owners.

Finance Director Marilyn Rapp said a mill generates $1 for every $1,000 in taxable value. If property is assessed at $300,000, its taxable value is $100,000 and the property tax would be $100 per mill.

If the mill rate is increased by 4.425, the owner of a $300,000 home would pay $722.10 per year – up from the current $279.60.

City officials in February said they wanted 50% of the increase to go to city streets, with the additional 50% increase going into the city’s general fund.

“In the history of Portales, the property taxes have never been raised,” Austin said on Friday.

“With the increasing demand from what the state has mandated as minimum wage, the increased costs for fuel and equipment as well as costs for supplies, we are increasing costs to keep up with the demand of everything.”

As just one example, Austin said the city paid about $130 to replace a tire on a trash truck in 2021. That same tire would cost almost $800 today, she said.

City officials in February also considered an increase in gross receipts taxes, but rejected that proposal.

If council members on Tuesday vote to raise taxes by 4.425 mills, it will generate approximately $735,948 in additional revenue, according to city records.

The resolution must be enacted and to the state by June 1 to be effective for the 2023 taxes, city officials said.

“None of us grab hold of loving to raise taxes on anybody,” Mayor Ron Jackson said during the February council meeting. But with rising costs, he said, “This is something the council needs to think about.”

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