COUNTY PROPERTY TAX RATES DROP TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 1997

COUNTY PROPERTY TAX RATES DROP TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 1997

Growth in Doña Ana County has broadened the tax base, according to County Assessor Emma Johnson Ortiz, who said that 1999 property tax rates have dropped to pre-1997 levels.

“Whenever the tax base grows,” Ortiz said, “the mill rate tends to drop, because more people are shouldering the responsibility for maintaining government services.”

Ortiz said the mill rates also tend to drop in years when the Assessor’s Office performs property assessments throughout the county, which occurred in 1999.

“As values go up, the mill rate tends to go down,” she said.

As an example, Ortiz said a residential property owner in the City of Las Cruces whose home was consistently assessed at $90,000 would have paid annual property taxes of $851 in 1997, $859 in 1998 and $830 in 1999.

But because valuations tend to inch upward in reassessment years, she said most property owners will find that their tax obligations stabilize.

“If your property was reassessed at a higher value, you will probably find that your tax bill won’t change much, due to the lower mill rates,” Ortiz said.