Council against tax reduction on groceries

Mike Linn

The Portales city council want residents to buy their milk for $3.19, not $2.99.
The city council at Tuesday’s meeting adopted a resolution opposing a proposed tax reduction that would save the average Portales resident about $40 annually on groceries.
City Council members said the city’s budget would lose about $424,000 annually if the reduction goes through.
The tax break is spearheaded by Gov. Bill Richardson’s Blue Ribbon Tax Committee, but can only be passed by registered voters.
Mayor Orlando Ortega said the elimination of a 6.3 percent gross receipts tax on groceries would greatly affect Portales and other municipalities that need the money taxes generate.
“This is going to impact us and many municipalities very much,” Ortega said. “If they take this money away, they should be prepared to make up for this loss another way.”
Council member Ron Jackson said the tax break would only apply to groceries, and would not include toiletries and other items obtained at grocery stores.
The proposal will be discussed in detail at the Legislative special session this fall.

Also at the meeting:

Portales residents gathered in above average numbers and expressed concern about the Portales commodities program.
Mayor Orlando Ortega said city officials would look into the matter.

The city council voted to advertise for the position of Airport Manager for the Portales Municipal Airport.
The current manager Bobby Meeks will retire in the near future, but if a qualified manager is not hired shortly thereafter then Meeks may return to the position on a contract basis.
Meeks said recently he is ready to retire, but wouldn’t mind doing some work at the airport if contracted out by the city.

The council authorized co-city manager Joan Martinez-Terry to negotiate a contract for airport fuel services for the Portales Municipal Airport.