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Utility rates and animal control contract among other topics

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FARMINGTON — The Aztec Municipal School District Board of Education will have three public forums answering questions about topics including the upcoming election starting this week.

The first of the forums will start at 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Aztec Senior-Community Center, 101 S. Park Ave. There will also be forums at the same time and location on Oct. 7 and Oct. 28.

These forums are partially organized to educate voters as the school district asks the community to approve a 1.866 mill levy to replace an expiring 1.866 mill levy.

More: Mill levy fails in Aztec and Bloomfield, passes in CCSD

The district initially asked voters to approve a 2 mill levy in February, but that failed during a mail ballot election that resulted in 12 percent voter turnout. Following the election in February, Superintendent Kirk Carpenter said the district will have to cut programs, staff or activities if it does not have the mill funding available.

The mill funding comes from property taxes. A mill is equivalent to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value. While the imposed mill rate will remain the same if the mill levy passes, Aztec residents will see their property tax change as a result of the election.

More: The upcoming election could impact property taxes in Aztec, Bloomfield

The New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration has sent the county two possible tax certificates for 2019. The San Juan County Commission confirmed the state’s calculations during its Sept. 19 meeting.

If it passes in Aztec, residential property will see a 0.06 percent increase. If it fails in Aztec, residential property will see a 0.13 percent decrease. That means residential property valued at $100,000 would see a $62.87 difference in property tax depending on the result of the election.

The 0.06 percent increase that will happen if the mill levy passes is not completely due to the school district. There are several taxing authorities that impact property tax rates — the state, the county, the city, the school district and San Juan College.

The mills collected can vary from year to year, but the entities can never collect more than the amount that they have imposed. For example, the county has imposed 8.5 mills but will collect less than 7 mills from residential property in 2019.

More: Local school officials say mill funding is crucial to operations

Here’s a look at how the property taxes will change for each of those entities:

  • State: The state will collect 1.36 mills in 2019, which is the same as in 2018.
  • City of Aztec: The city will receive 4.673 mills for municipal operations in 2019. This is up from 4.475 in 2018.
  • San Juan County: The county will receive 6.436 mills in 2019, an increase from 6.2 in 2018.
  • San Juan College: The college will receive 4.112 mills, which is an increase from 3.992 mills.
  • Aztec Municipal School District: If the mill levy passes, the school’s portion of the total mills collected in 2019 will increase to 12.384 from 12.324. However, if it does not pass, the school district’s share will decrease to 10.495 mills. In addition to the 1.866 capital improvement mills that the school district is asking the voters to approve, it will collect 0.271 in operation mills and 10.227 mills for debt service in 2019.
  • Total: If the mill levy is approved, Aztec residential property will be taxed at 29.465 mills, an increase from 28.851 in 2018. Residential property in school district boundaries but not in city limits will be taxed at 24.792 mills, an increase from 24.375 mills. If the mill levy fails, Aztec residential property will be taxed at 27.579 mills and residential property outside of city limits will be taxed at 22.906 mills.

Other meeting topics include utility rates and animals

The Bloomfield City Council will discuss raising utility rates to pay for the replacement of its wastewater treatment plant when it meets at 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Bloomfield City Hall, 915 N. 1st St.

The Farmington City Council will likely approve an agreement with San Juan County to shelter animals at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter. The City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at Farmington City Hall, 800 N. Municipal Drive.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission will have a public hearing about the future of the Rosa Joint Ventures water system that serves an area near Navajo Lake. The hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 24 in the Old PERA building, 1120 Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe.

The Aztec City Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at Aztec City Hall, 201 W. Chaco St. All items are on the consent agenda and will be voted on at the same time.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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