San Juan County Commission confirmed property tax rates

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AZTEC — People who live in the Aztec Municipal School District will see their property tax rates go down this year while people in other areas of the county will see small increases.

San Juan County Commission confirmed the property tax rates during a special meeting this morning. 

The property tax rates are determined by the state. The state sends the county the numbers, which the county, municipalities and school districts check. After officials verify that the state's calculations are correct, the County Commission confirms the rate.

The county has the second lowest imposed property tax rate in the state and Jim Cox, the chief financial officer, said he does not anticipate the county imposing additional property taxes.

Cox said residential housing values have gone up about $250 million in the past seven years while non-residential property values have fluctuated and the value of oil and gas property has decreased. In 2011, there was $928 million of oil and gas property. Now there is approximately $351 million.

The highest property tax rate is paid by people who live in a small area between Bloomfield and Aztec. County Attorney Doug Echols said the area was annexed by Bloomfield but is part of the Aztec school district. The area will see a decrease in property tax rates this year, but the rate will remain higher than other areas of the county. The residential rate for the area is 29.758 mills, which is slightly higher than Bloomfield and Aztec's rates. A mill is equivalent to one dollar for every $1,000 of assessed value. Aztec's rate is 28.522 mills while Bloomfield's is 28.651 mills. Farmington's property tax rate is 22.936 mills.

People who live in the town of Kirtland and surrounding community of Kirtland pay the lowest property tax — 21.129 mills. The town of Kirtland voted not to impose a property tax. While Kirtland's property tax rates remain low, the area could see dramatic increases in the future if the San Juan Generating Station closes. 

A person who owns a $150,000 house in Aztec city limits will see a $23.05 decrease. That same house outside of Aztec city limits but within the school district it would see a $23.35 decrease. A $150,000 house within Bloomfield city limits and Aztec school boundaries will see a $21.25 decrease.

If the house was in Farmington city limits, it would see a $5.05 increase in tax rates. Outside of the city limits but within the school district, there would be a $4.95 increase.

In Bloomfield, the house would see a $3.60 increase in property tax rates and outside city limits there would be a $1.50 increase.

Kirtland residents both inside town limits and out of town limits will see a $2.80 increase for a house valued at $150,000.

The largest increase in property tax this year will be for non-residential property in Bloomfield city limits. The rate will increase from 33.953 mills to 34.310. A non-residential property valued at $150,000 will see a $17.85 increase in taxes.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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