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Los Alamos residents should be proud of themselves for voting a large property tax increase to support modernization of our school buildings. Now the question is: must our property tax bills really increase that much?
If this question sounds confusing, please keep reading. At issue are hundreds of dollars a year for every property owner. Renters ultimately pay, too.
Property taxes are proportional to the value of real estate. Currently, the owner of a $300,000 home in Los Alamos pays about $1700 per year in property taxes. (All numbers are rounded.) About $800 of that goes to the county, $700 to local schools, and $200 to the State and UNM-LA. Commercial properties pay about 25 percent more.
The new school bonds would raise the tax on that home by about $550 to $2250 per year. We’ll see that on our annual tax bills starting in November.
I believe the County government can and should lower its portion of our property tax to offset the increase in school taxes.
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