County approves gross receipts tax increase

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt County residents will see an additional tax on their gross receipts beginning Jan. 1 after county commissioners approved a 1/16 gross receipts tax ordinance on Tuesday.
Commissioners held a public hearing for the ordinance on June 7 and no members of the public appeared. The gross receipts tax will generate approximately $115,000 annually to the general budget to help incur the rising costs of fuel, health care, pay increases and cost-of-living increases, officials said.
The fiscal budget year takes place from July 1 to June 30, 2006, which means the county will have half of the revenue the tax generates in a year, about $57,500, this time next year.
Commissioners have said the gross-receipts tax would be a more fair tax than a property tax because everyone purchases products, but not everybody owns property.
What this means for a Roosevelt County consumer is an additional 6 cents in taxes for every $100 spent on a product from a Roosevelt County business, excluding food and medicines.
Other issues commissioners discussed:
l Gov. Bill Richardson, in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the New Mexico Association of Counties, sent letters to county entities to address highways and roads in New Mexico in need of repair.
The state’s regional planning organizations will be gathering lists of project requests from the county entities, then will rate the projects. The project forms have to be submitted by July 5 and Roosevelt County Administrator Charlene Hardin requested which three projects the commissioners wanted to submit so she can begin researching them and taking pictures of the roads.
Commissioners requested, in order of priority, state highways 267 (from Portales to Floyd), 88 (from Portales to Arch) and 119 (from Elida to Dora).
Commissioners had the choice of choosing either county or state roads, but Gene Creighton, county chairman, said the planning organizations would probably be more open to fixing state roads than county roads and the other commissioners agreed.
l Jesse Luera of the Roosevelt County Detention Center reported 70 inmates in the detention center, including 14 females.