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Modest tax relief measure gets nod from council

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Property owners will see a tax reduction of $1.5 million for FY2011

By Jennifer Garcia

Property taxes have been somewhat of a hot issue for Los Alamos County residents in recent years. Complaints about taxes that are too high have been heard at various county council meetings, but until recently, residents held little hope that things would change.

Property owners will now get some breathing room thanks to a motion passed Tuesday at the county budget hearings, by county council.

Council Chair Michael Wismer said that by approving the property tax cut, it will equate to a reduction of  $200 for a home valuation of $300,000.

Councilor Michael Wheeler moved that council tentatively approve a property tax reduction of $1.5 million for FY2011, and further moved that council delete Objective number 1D under Strategic Goal number 1, in the county’s strategic goals and objectives (to reduce spending and property taxes by $1.5 million per year for each of the next three years, 2011-2013), and that staff update the Projected FY2012 budget.  The motion passed 5-2, with Gibson and Chiravalle opposed.

Though Councilor Nona Bowman seconded the motion, not everyone was on the same page. Councilor Vincent Chiravalle moved, seconded by Councilor Robert Gibson, that council divide the question. That motion passed 4-3, with Wheeler, Bowman and Wismer opposed.


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