Peralta plans to raise property tax for public safety

PERALTASeeking to fund increased public safety spending and put Peralta in a position to expand its public safety capabilities, Peralta councilors will consider implementing a two-mill levy at this week’s council meeting next.

Peralta Treasurer and Deputy Clerk Steve Robbins recommended a two-million tax increase to the council during a city workshop held April 23 to “prepare for the future protection of Peralta residents.” Public safety includes firefighters, emergency medical services, police, animal control and code enforcement.

“This directly benefits the residents of Peralta, more than any other plant levy we have ever done,” said Steven Chavez, the city attorney.

Peralta has had an intergovernmental agreement with Bosque Farms for several years for police services. According to the previous Newsletter In a news report, Peralta leaders praised Bosque Farms police for their excellent performance and valuable assistance, but agree that public safety remains a major concern for city residents and the costs associated with public safety services are increasing.

“These expenses currently come from our general fund,” Robbins said. “Expenses, including salaries, taxes, volunteer allowances, vehicle insurance, construction site allowances, professional services, vehicle maintenance, training and fuel expenses, have soared arrow. »

City Clerk Kori Taylor said in a phone call that Peralta has very limited funding for public safety and there is a need to strengthen its EMS program and expand fire services, especially considering given the increase in the number of people. zero statusi.e. when a call for an ambulance is received, but there are none available at that time because they are away on other calls.

Taylor said there was also talk of establishing a police departmentbut nothing is set in stone.

“You might be able to see more police presence in our community, or more EMS presence in our community, or better trained zoning officers, because that would help the zoning people get trained as well,” Chavez said. “I just think it helps us grow as a community more than any other aspect of what we’ve done in the past.”

Peralta currently has a three-plant levy dedicated to wastewater, which was created about 10 years ago to help fund a sewer system to treat wastewater and protect groundwater quality in the region. This levy currently brings in approximately $205,000 per year.

However, Robbins said there are now enough funds in the wastewater account so revenue from the three plants can be transferred to the general fund to help with public safety.

“If the governing body approves this tax on plants, it will require a resolution to transfer these funds from wastewater to the general fund,” Robbins said.

Robbins said that, based on census data, an increase of one plant would result in an average of $70,000 in additional plant levy revenue and an average of two plants would be double that. If the proposed two-plant levy is approved, funds from this levy, combined with the three-plant levy, would bring an average of an additional $344,000 per year to the general fund.

Although the amount imposed depends on a property’s assessed value, Robbins said that on average, a homeowner would see about a $102 increase in their property tax bill per year if a two-mill levy was approved. .

For a commercial business owner, on average they would see about a $96 per year increase in property taxes if construction of two factories were approved.

Peralta Mayor Bryan Olguin said the council has not requested a factory tax increase in 10 years, with the three factories being the only levy they have implemented to date and that “all other entities increase costs every year.”

“I’m comfortable with a levy of a million or two because, like you said, Mayor, it’s been 10 years,” said Councilman Randy Smith. “This is one of the reasons we (recently) increased our gross receipts tax. Everyone around us had increased it and increased it and increased it and we stayed at the same rate for years. 10 years, you know, I think I can justify that to residents and commercial owners.

“I think we’ve been very careful with the (three) mill tax that we’ve collected, and the amount of service that we’ve provided since then has increased significantly,” Councilor Joseph Romero said. “It benefits the overall health of our community, and I see no reason why we couldn’t create one focused on public safety and do the exact same thing: increase the services we provide and make this city more attractive . a place where businesses can set up shop and people can bring their children.

The proposed levy for two plants will be listed as a topic for discussion, public hearing and then review at the next town meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, at Peralta City Hall, 90-A Molina Road .

Robbins said if the council is inclined to approve the factory tax increase, it would have to vote on it before the preliminary budget is presented in June.

Felina Martinez, newsletter editorFelina Martinez, newsletter editor

Felina Martinez was born and raised in the Valencia region. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. While at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary filmmaking, digital media, and journalism. It covers the village of Los Lunas, the schools of Los Lunas, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.