[Editor's Note: As a result of the more than 5-hour special meeting on Sept. 7, 2021, this is the fifth and final of a multi-part series of articles and will cover the 2021 property tax mill report.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commission had on its special meeting agenda of Sept. 7, 2021 a resolution on the 2021 property tax mill and comments by Assessor Raul Turrieta and Treasurer Patrick Cohn.

To read the preceding articles about the ICIP and ARPA decisions by commissioners, please visit the first four installments of this series of articles at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/67319-grant-county-commission-holds-special-meeting-to-address-icip-and-arpa-priorities-090721-part-1, https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/67408-grant-county-commission-holds-special-meeting-to-address-icip-and-arpa-priorities-090721-part-2 , https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/67424-grant-county-commission-holds-special-meeting-to-address-icip-and-arpa-priorities-090721-part-3 and https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/67463-grant-county-commission-holds-special-meeting-to-address-icip-and-arpa-priorities-090721-part-4 .

Turrieta handed out the rate sheets, which indicated the rates would rise slightly at a rate of 0.1 percent for 2021 for operational residential taxpayers. Operational non-residential rates would remain the same and debt service would drop by 10.5 percent.

He noted that because school bond issues are on the November ballot, an extra 2 mills could be added to the rates. Cobre Schools is requesting the 2 mill general obligation bond, while Silver Schools, if the issue passes, will continue the same mill levy as authorized previously by Senate Bill 9.

Treasurer Patrick Cohn, who is also a Silver Schools Board member, said the SB 9 levy is a continuation and will not increase rates for Silver Schools residents. "If the ballot bond question doesn't pass the rate will go down."

Cohn also noted that because the GO bond issue is on the November ballots, it will delay the issuance of tax bills until Nov. 24, because it will delay the tax roll turnover from the treasurer to the assessor. "We have asked for the exemption for the delay, although we have yet to hear back with approval. We are not the only counties with this situation, so we assume we will receive the exemption to delay mailing out the bills until Dec. 1. As a result, the bill for first half taxes will not be due until Jan. 10, 2022, before a penalty and interest are assessed. Second half taxes will not be affected and will be sent out April 10 due by the usual date of May 10."

Turrieta said that he received the School District 2-H tax rates, which relate to Hurley, but "we have a question about them." The chart indicated that they had increased by more than 5 percent.

District 3 Commissioner Alicia Edwards asked: "Why not table them until we have the correct rates?"

Turrieta replied that he has only five days to certify the rates and the resolution has to be passed in time to meet the deadline.

District 1 Commissioner and Chair Chris Ponce noted that if the numbers change the resolution can be amended.

Commissioners approved the tax rates as presented.

Turrieta then thanked Executive Assistant Taysha Walter, who has resigned to move to Las Cruces, where her husband has been working for the past month or more.

Cohn also thanked her for all her assistance.

District 4 Commissioner Billy Billings also offered his thanks. "You have been very helpful to me and good luck."

District 2 Commissioner Javier "Harvey" Salas said: "Thank you for doing everything we asked of you."

Edwards echoed the thanks. "You have been extraordinarily detailed and efficient. And I also say thank you to the rest of the county staff for hanging in there and doing due diligence. I am reminded how much I appreciate the conversations we have among us commissioners."

District 5 Commissioner Harry Browne said he wished to add an adjective. "I'm amazed at how unflappable you have been, Taysha. I also want to thank Priscilla Shoup for doing a remarkedly good job coming up to speed in your position [Planning and Community Development Director]."

Ponce said they had just added another job to County Manager Tim Zamora's plate "with Taysha leaving." He said he had given items to Sylvia Dominguez and the county clerk and Silver City Manager Alex Brown. "They jumped on the problem and took care of it within days. The second thing is I want to thank county staff for the great job you do, keeping us straight. And thanks to my fellow commissioners, too. It's been a long day."

The meeting adjourned.