Two of three tax increases approved

By Tony Parra

Roosevelt County commissioners passed two of the three proposed tax increments on Tuesday during the county commission meeting and they will be in place on Jan. 1.
Commissioners passed two 1/8 tax increments, which will mean an additional .125 percent on gross receipt taxes beginning Jan. 1. For each tax, there would be an additional 12.5 cents for each $100 spent at a Roosevelt County business, beginning Jan. 1.
The 1/8 tax increments were approved unanimously approved by the commissioners.
The increase in taxes is to supplement the general fund, which has been taking a hit because of increasing costs over 10 percent hikes in the sheriff’s and detention center budgets.
RCC chairman Dennis Lopez made a motion to pass a 1/16 tax increment as well, but the motion was not seconded by any of the other commissioners and failed.
“It was hard to approve the taxes,” commissioner Tom Clark said. “I think at some point in the future the 1/16 (tax increment will pass).”
Commissioner Gene Creighton said he also had a tough time having to approve the taxes. He also said the commissioners still have the option to add the third tax, if dire situations require it.
“I think we can get by on that (two taxes),” Creighton said. “I hated to have to add any kind of tax. The corrections budget has been killing us. Four or five months ago it (inmate count) was at 90. If we have to enact the 1/16 then we will.”
In regards to the Roosevelt County Detention Center, Ben Martinez, Roosevelt County Assistant Jail administrator, said the inmate count was at 49. Martinez also said inmate workers are working on city and county projects.
Martinez also said the RCDC receives $5,100 of federal money to hold illegal immigrants each year., and those inmates must be incarcerated for at least four consecutive days.