Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Note: Please be advised that all FAQ material shown herein is provided as a courtesy to the public for informational purposes only and does not constitute nor shall it be construed as the rendering of legal advice or services. For answers to all legal questions, consult with an attorney. No warranty or guarantee of information accuracy is provided or implied.

Certain New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA) citations are provided herein. Statutes can be changed or amended from time-to-time. Please consult the most current NMSA laws and regulations. For more information regarding property tax or income tax see State Of New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department.

GENERAL INFORMATION

What does the County Assessor do?

This elected official is responsible for valuing all real and personal property for taxing authorities in the county. Taxing authorities include such organizations as school districts, hospitals, municipalities, conservancy districts and flood-control authorities. The assessor also administers the granting of certain exemptions allowable by state law.

The Assessor:

  1. Discovers, lists, and values residential, commercial, vacant, and business personal property for ad valorem tax purposes.
  2. Notifies property owners of their assessed property values.
  3. Prepares the county property tax rolls for the County Treasurer. The tax roll includes: real property (land and improvements) and personal property.
    Personal Property is defined as:
    1. Livestock (as defined by 7-36-21 NMSA Special Methods of Valuation - Livestock)
    2. Manufactured Homes
    3. Business Equipment

Does the County Commission superintend, manage or supervise the Assessor's Office?

No. The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners has no supervisory role over the Assessor. Only the State Department of Taxation and Revenue may direct the Assessor's activities.

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PROPERTY VALUATION FOR TAX ASSESSMENT

New Mexico State Statutes Annotated 7-38-8 NMSA 1978 require owners of real property, tangible movable business property, and/or mobile homes to declare any change in value their property has undergone within the past year. The due date for the annual report is January 1 of the year for which taxes are collected.

  1. I am new to New Mexico and have purchased a home. Do I have to pay property taxes in New Mexico?
  2. Yes. Property owners are responsible for recording conveyance documents with the County Clerk and for notifying the Assessor’s Office of purchases and transfers of ownership. This facilitates changes in Assessor’s records that reflect current property ownership and a mailing address where owners will receive valuation notices and tax bills. If you have moved, please promptly contact the Assessor's Office with your new address.

  3. How much property tax will I have to pay?
  4. Taxes are based on the current and correct market value of your residence and land, vacant land, commercial property, or other taxable property. The amount you pay is determined by multiplying the tax mil levy rate against the net taxable value of your property. The net taxable value is one-third of the total assessed value of your property minus valid exemptions such as Head of Family or Veterans exemptions.

  5. What does property valuation mean?
  6. The valuation set for property by the County Assessor is an estimate of the market value of your property, i.e., your residence, vacant land, commercial property, or other taxable property.

  7. How are the changes in the value of my property determined?
  8. The Assessor is required by state law to value property at 100 percent of current market value as determined by sales of comparable property (7-36-15 NMSA 1978).

  9. What Is the Notice of Valuation?
  10. Once a year you receive a Notice of Value from the Assessor informing you of the assessed value of your property for that year. It is an advance notice of what the Assessor has determined your property was worth based upon the prior year’s market. The Notice of Value is not a tax bill. The Treasurer issues the tax bill each November 1.

  11. When is the Notice of Value mailed?
  12. The Assessor is required to mail one Notice of Value for each assessed property by April 1 of each year (7-38-20 NMSA 1978).

  13. I recently moved. Who should be notified of my change in address?
  14. The Assessor's Office will accept mailing address changes in person, through the mail, by fax or by email. Please fill out a Change of Address Form (found on this website). Only a person who is vested with title, or one who has power of attorney for an owner, or a personal representative of a vested estate can request a change of mailing address. Proof of identity may be required.

    The Assessor provides a change of address form with the Notice of Value. If you do not receive a tax bill, be sure to contact the Assessor and verify the address on the tax roll. Please be advised that the Notice of Value form can be used to change a mailing address but not the names on the Assessor’s property account. Recorded and effective conveyance documents are necessary to change names on Assessor’s property accounts.

  15. What agencies and services are provided for by my property taxes?
  16. The following agencies and services are funded by property taxes: State of New Mexico, Doña Ana County, City Governments (Las Cruces, Hatch, Mesilla and Sunland Park), Doña Ana Branch Community College, Public School Districts (Las Cruces, Hatch and Gadsden) and Flood Districts (Lower Rio Grande and Hueco). Each property owner pays taxes based on the value of the property owned. The exact distribution of your tax depends on where you live within the County. Your tax bill will indicate what taxes you pay.

  17. Who pays property taxes?
  18. Only about 15 percent of the land in Doña Ana County is non-governmental. The state and federal governments hold about 85 percent of county land, and neither entity pays property taxes. The 15 percent of county land that is privately or corporately held pays the property taxes that fund county government and the entities listed in the answer to the previous question.

  19. What happens to my taxes after they are collected?
  20. Taxes are disbursed to the agencies for whom we collect in the month following collection. Until that time the County Treasurer invests the funds in time deposits with approved banks and savings and loan companies within the county, and participates in the New Mexico investment pool. The Treasurer also is authorized by state statute to invest in securities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Is there a limit to the amount my property taxes can increase? Tax increases are subject to yield control, which applies to county valuation as a whole, but not to individual parcels. Yield control places a 5 percent increase limit on the amount of taxes local governments may receive from reappraisal. It does not place a cap on how much a particular property's value may increase. It does place a cap on how much property tax local taxing agencies may receive. By limiting the annual amount of property taxes that can be collected, yield control limits the amount individual property owners will pay. Taxes assessed to retire voter-approved bonded debt is not subject to yield control. The law limits the overall total tax increase for the operational budgets of most local governments. If the property tax base increases, then the average rate should decrease. I recently purchased real property. What must I do to get the property tax bill in my name? Have your property deed recorded at the County Clerk's Office. The Assessor’s Office Title Examiners Department will review the deed and make any appropriate changes to Assessor’s records.

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CRITICAL DATES

Note: Some dates shown below are approximate.

January 1: Property is assessed to the owner of record according to its current condition as of this date. For example, if property is vacant on January 1 it will be assessed as vacant land even if a building is constructed on that property sometime during the tax year after January 1. This is the date by which all property subject to valuation for property taxation purposes shall be valued each tax year (7-38-7 NMSA). Taxes on real and personal property are liens against the property from January 1 of the tax year for which the taxes are imposed (7-38-38 NMSA).

January 2: County Treasurer starting date for pre-paid mobile home taxes (taxes paid in advance).

January 10: Deadline for filing Claims for Refund in District Court (7-38-40 NMSA).

During February or March: Assessor mails a Notice of Value (Property Notice of Valuation) to property owners.

By The Last Day Of The 30-Day Protest Period: Last date for a property owner to file a valuation protest with the Assessor, to claim a Family or Veteran exemption, to apply for agricultural valuation, to apply for church, charitable, educational and personal property exemptions. This date also applies to loss of status for eligibility for exemptions; reporting improvements costing more than $10,000; and/or statement of decrease in value.

April 1: Banks start collecting second half taxes for County Treasurer.

April 10: Due date for second half taxes (7-38-28 NMSA).

April 19: County Treasurer publishes the notice of the second half delinquency date of May 10 (7-38-46 NMSA) in the paper for three consecutive weeks.

May 10: Second half taxes become delinquent (7-38-46 NMSA).

May 11: Apply delinquency charges to second half taxes (7-38-49/50 NMSA).

May 31: Date by which delinquent taxes must be paid to avoid being mailed a delinquency notice.

June 10: County Treasurer mails notices of delinquency and notices of transfer to state (7-31-51/60 NMSA).

June 15: The Assessor certifies the County net taxable values (full valuation of the County) to the State Property Tax Division.

June 30: Notification to Department of Motor Vehicles of unpaid taxes on mobile homes (7-38-52A NMSA).

July 1: County Treasurer transfers delinquent tax roll to the state (7-38-61 NMSA).

August 1: State Department of Taxation & Revenue certifies the final Net Taxable Values to the Department of Finance and Administration for setting tax rates.

September 1: State Department of Finance and Administration issues tax mil rates for current tax year (7-38-33 NMSA). Last date for County Commission to suspend the minimum penalty requirements on delinquent taxes (7-38-50 NMSA).

September: The New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration sets the tax rates for the current year's property taxes for each of the 33 counties. The County Commission must approve Tax Mil Rates before they take effect.

October 1: County Treasurer receives tax roll from the Assessor (7-38-36 NMSA). After October 1, the Assessor has only limited authority to request changes to the tax schedule.

November 1: Tax bills are mailed (7-38-36 NMSA).

November 10: Due date for first half taxes (7-38-38 NMSA).

November 19: County Treasurer publishes for three consecutive weeks the notice of the first half or full delinquency date of December 10 (7-38-46 NMSA).

December 10: Delinquency date for first half taxes (7-38-46 NMSA). Last day for banks to collect first half taxes.

December 11: Apply delinquency charges

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AGRICULTURAL

AGRICULTURAL AND GRAZING CLASSIFICATIONS: Special Use Properties
In order to preserve the limited lands available in New Mexico for agricultural and purposes and grazing, the New Mexico Legislature has given special valuation status to agricultural land (7-36-20 NMSA 1978). Qualified owners of such land must register their land by the last day of the 30-day Protest Period (if not already registered) and must be prepared to prove that agriculture is the primary use of the land. For the purpose of this section, agricultural use generally means the use of land for the production of plants, crops, trees, forest products, orchard crops, livestock, poultry or fish. The term also includes the use of land that meets the requirements for payment of other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government.

  1. What is "Special Method of Valuation: Agricultural"?
  2. Grazing valuation claims require proof of the presence of livestock. This may be in the form of a grazing lease, a personal property declaration of livestock that graze on the land, or some other proof of grazing use. However, grazing must be the primary use of the land in order to qualify.

  3. What is the difference between wet and dry agricultural land?
  4. As defined in chapter 7-36-20, Agricultural land is classified as either: “irrigated agricultural land” which is all agricultural land receiving supplemental water to that provided by natural rainfall, or “dry agricultural land” which is all agricultural land without a supplemental water supply.

  5. What if there is an improvement (house) on the agricultural land?
  6. The Assessor will designate one acre as a home site that will be valued at market value. A home site, as the term is used in Property Tax Division Regulation 36-20: 1, means the site is used primarily as a residence and is more than the boundary of the foundation of an improvement used as a residence. All remaining land will receive the agricultural valuation rate providing that the primary use of the remaining land qualifies as agricultural under the statute.

  7. How does the Assessor determine whether the primary use of the land is agricultural?
  8. The determination is based on a physical examination of the land by the Assessor’s Office along with an evaluation of other evidence.

  9. What is the minimum acreage that qualifies for an agricultural classification?
  10. At least one-half acre of land if the Assessor determines it to be in use as an “orchard” with at least 20 orchard trees (nut, fruit); otherwise, one acre of non-improved land is the minimum acreage that can be used as agriculture.

  11. What does "agricultural products" mean?
  12. Agricultural products include: plants, crops, trees, forest products, orchard crops, livestock, wool, mohair, hides, pelts, poultry, fish, dairy products and honey.

  13. Does the Assessor's Office have the right to request income and expense information from a taxpayer who is applying for agricultural valuation?
  14. Yes. Property Tax Division Regulation 36-20:7 indicates the application form may contain a request for providing information on the owner's farm income and farm expenses reported to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Schedule F.

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APPRAISAL

  1. How does an appraiser value my property and why is the Assessor’s valuation lower than a fee appraisal?
  2. The Assessor's valuation may differ from a value estimate from a fee appraiser. Many reasons may explain the difference. One is that the Assessor's “effective date of valuation” is a fixed time in the past. The effective date of valuation for the Assessor's office for a given year is January 1 of the previous calendar year. A fee appraiser usually values a property as of a recent inspection date. Another reason is that recent legislation limits increases on the valuation for assessments on residential properties. In addition to the laws limiting valuations there are other reasons our valuation may differ from that of a fee appraiser. For details, please contact the Assessor's Office.

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BUSINESS PERSONAL PROPERTY

The Assessor is required by State law to assess business equipment. Tangible personal property is property “that is used, produced, manufactured, held for sale, leased or maintained by a person for purposes of the person’s profession, business or occupation; and for which the owner has claimed a deduction for depreciation for federal income tax purposes during any federal income taxable year occurring in whole or in part during the twelve months immediately preceding the first day of the property tax year” (NMSA 7-36-8), and is not permanently affixed to, or part of real estate.

  1. When must Business Personal Property be reported?
  2. Businesses must report by the last day of February, each year.

  3. What items should be reported? (the following is a partial list only)
  • Office furniture and fixtures, including file cabinets, books and bookcases, desks and decorative items.
  • Store equipment such as racks, shelves, shopping carts, equipment, typewriters, time clocks, and ATM’s.
  • Restaurant equipment including tables, booths chairs, drink dispensers, freezers, appliances, sinks, and cookware.
  • Apartment, motel and hotel equipment including furniture, exercise equipment, appliances, lighting, and decorative items.
  • Machinery and heavy equipment as well as shop tools, dental tools, drilling equipment, portable sheds, dumpsters, golf carts,
  • forklifts, engraving machines, welding equipment, and mortuary equipment.
  • Electronic equipment, such as sound systems, alarm systems, musical instruments, fax machines, computers, camera
  • equipment, postage scales, vending machines, radios, televisions,
  • small tools, and video recorders.
  • Leased equipment is also assessable.
  • What type of personal property is exempt from taxation?
  • Inventories that are for sale or resale at wholesale, retail or consignment, leasehold improvements, motor vehicles that are registered under the Provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code (except for manufactured homes), and aircraft registered under the Aircraft Registration Act, etc. (NMSA 7-36-8)

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    DELINQUENT TAXES

    1. What happens if my taxes become delinquent?
    2. By state law (7-38-15 NMSA 1978), each June the Treasurer's Office will mail a delinquency notice to the assessed property owner for any tax bill 30 or more days delinquent. The notice will inform the owner that if the taxes on real property, including penalty and interest charges, are not paid within two years from the date of delinquency, the property will be sold at state public auction. For owners of mobile homes and personal property, the notice will state that the property is subject to seizure and subsequent sale after six months from the date of delinquency.

    3. What can I do if my delinquent taxes have been transferred to the Property Tax Division for collection?
    4. Once taxes have been transferred to the Division for collection, all delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, and costs must be paid in full or your property may be offered for sale at Public Auction. If a property owner is unable to pay in full, the owner may prevent the sale of the property by entering into an Installment Agreement with the State Property Tax Division, for payment of all outstanding liabilities.

    5. I have been contacted by the New Mexico State Property Tax Division and informed that my property will be sold at public auction. I owe back taxes for prior years; may I just pay the oldest delinquent tax to prevent the sale of the property?
    6. Real property owners who owe three or more years of prior taxes will have their property sold by the State unless delinquent taxes, interest and penalty charges for all years are paid in full by the date of the sale of the property (7-38-65 NMSA 1978).

    7. How can I obtain a listing of properties that may be sold for Delinquent Taxes?
    8. All tax sale lists must be published in a newspaper of general circulation for three weeks preceding the week of the sale. You may also pick up a calendar of currently scheduled sales and/or current sale lists at the Property Tax Division office in Santa Fe or at the Treasurer's Office of the county where the property is located. There will be a charge for local county lists. Sale calendars will be mailed to you at no charge on written request. Requests should be sent to: Property Tax Division, Box 25126, Santa Fe, NM 87504-5126. Phone (575) 827-0870, Fax (575) 827-0782.

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    EXEMPTIONS

    EXEMPTIONS: Under New Mexico property tax law, NMSA 1978, chapter 7, there are two categories of individual property taxation exemptions and several categories of institutional and governmental exemptions. Individual exemptions are available for head of family and qualifying veterans. Institutional exemptions are available for governmental agencies, schools, service organizations (nonprofit), churches and special status exemptions.

    1. How can I find out if my organization warrants an exemption?
    2. If you feel your organization meets the requirements established in the New Mexico Supreme Court decision in Grace Inc. vs. Bernalillo County, which requires that the primary use of land and/or improvements be for charitable, religious, or educational purposes, then you must apply for an exemption with the Assessor's Office. The burden of proof is on the property owner to document eligibility each year.

    3. Is there a Homestead Exemption in New Mexico?
    4. No. The New Mexico Legislature has established a Head of Family exemption.

    5. When may exemptions be claimed?
    6. No later than 30 days after the mail date on the Notice of Value.

    HEAD OF FAMILY: If property changes ownership after the 1st of the year, the exemption will be removed on Jan 1 of the following year and the new owner must apply by the last day of the 30-Day Protest Period to qualify for the new tax year.

    1. Who is eligible for the Head of Family exemption and how is it applied?
    2. The state statute on this reads: As used in this section, Head of the Family means an individual New Mexico resident who is either

    • Married;
    • Widow or Widower;
    • Head of Household furnishing more than one half the cost of support of any related person; or
    • a single person.

    Those eligible for this exemption must apply for it only once to receive it in subsequent years. Only one family exemption per household is permitted, and it must be the property in which the owner resides in the State of New Mexico. The Head of the Household exemption is currently capped at $2,000.

    VETERAN EXEMPTION: If property changes ownership after January 1st, the exemption will be removed on January 1st of the following year and the new owner must apply by the last day of the 30-Day Protest Period in order to qualify for that tax year (7-38-17 NMSA 1978).

    1. How is the Veteran Exemption status determined and how does it affect property taxes?
    2. The New Mexico Veteran's Service Commission determines all eligibility and issues a certificate to all qualifying veterans. This certificate (original document only) may be used to claim the New Mexico Property Tax Exemption. Once the exemption is claimed, it is retained for subsequent years without having to reapply. Veterans with certificates should apply for exemption with the Assessor. Veterans have 30 days after the official mail date of their Notice of Value to apply. Surviving spouses may receive the exemption if they qualify with the New Mexico Veteran's Service Commission. For more information, call the Veteran's Service Commission in Santa Fe for details on expanded eligibility by the legislature for veterans (575-827-6354 or 575-827-6374).

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    APPEALS PROCESS: Protesting Assessment Values

    1. When can I protest my valuation as determined by the Assessor?
    2. A property owner may protest the value of classification by the Assessor, the allocation of the value of the property, or denial of a claim for exemption by filing a petition with the Assessor no later than 30 days after the mailing of Notice of Value. A taxpayer may file a letter of inquiry and the Assessor may elect to resolve the question without going through a formal protest.

    3. What is the protest process if I disagree with the Assessor's valuation?
    4. To start the protest process in the County, you should:

    • Fill out the protest form that is available at the County Assessor's Office at 845 N. Motel Blvd, Las Cruces, NM. Make sure you fill out the form completely.
    • Mail in the form or bring it to the Assessor's Office in person. It is helpful if you provide them with a copy of your documentation; do not give them your original.
    • A formal hearing with the Valuation Protest Board will be set.
    • An informal meeting may be set with a field appraiser.
    • If the dispute is not resolved satisfactorily at the Board hearing, you may make an official appeal to the Court of Appeals.
  • May I review my records at the Assessor's Office for my protest?
  • Yes. But you may review only your own property card, no one else's, since they are considered confidential and not public information.

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    LAND SPLITS/MERGES

    1. What is the process for subdividing a parcel of land?
    2. The appropriate department that has jurisdiction over the land should be consulted:

    • For property in Dona Ana County call 647-7350
    • For property in the City of Las Cruces call 528-3043
    • For property in the Extra-Territorial Zone (ETZ) call 528-3043
    • For property in the Village of Hatch call 267-5216
    • For property in the Town of Mesilla call 524-3262
    • For property in the City of Sunland Park call 575-589-3631
    • For property in the City of Anthony call 575-882-2983

  • What is the process of splitting property or combining two or more parcels of land for tax purposes?
  • Contact the Mapping Department of the Assessor’s Office. The current year’s taxes may have to be paid in advance before the boundaries of assessed parcels can be changed. The owner of record on January 1st of each year is responsible for taxes assessed for that year.

  • Are there any special arrangements I must take before recording a property split or combine survey plat?
  • Doña Ana County has an Ordinance (No. 165-96) which states that taxes owing on the property in question must be paid in full (including the current year's taxes) before the Treasurer's Office will issue a County Certification of Taxes Paid. The Assessor's Office will require the Certificate before a property split or combine will be able to be recorded at the County Clerk’s Office.

    Also, a paper or myler copy of the proposed plat or replat should be delivered to the Assessor’s Mapping Department so the plat can be reviewed prior to recording. Title ownership issues can be created when lot lines are changed from an existing plat to a replat. When lot lines are moved, title to land in changed areas can become a problem if conveyance documents for affected areas are not recorded. The Plat and Replat Conveyance Ordinance (No. 220-05) requires corresponding conveyance documents to be recorded concurrently with the filing of any plat or replat that changes lot lines so that title issues are effectively addressed. If the necessary documents to correct title issues are not filed, the Assessor’s Office will not recognize the plat or replat for tax purposes. 4. If taxes are owed on a parcel of land that has been split or combined with another parcel, who is responsible for the taxes on the original parcel? Under 7-37-7 NMSA 1978, the owner of record on January 1 of each tax year is responsible for taxes assessed for that tax year. A tax lien is attached to the property upon failure to pay taxes, irrespective of ownership changes made after January 1 of each year.

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    LAND TITLE

    1. Why is the tax bill not in my name?
    2. Assessor’s records are based on recorded documents. Our office may not have the proper document, or a document might have an error that needs to be corrected. Depending on the type of document filed and the number of daily recordings, changes to Assessor’s records will generally appear within two weeks from the date of recording a document at the County Clerk’s office.

    3. How are names added or removed from Assessor’s property records?
    4. Names on Assessor’s records are determined by an examination of the property’s chain of title. To add or remove a name, an appropriate document must be recorded at the County Clerk’s office. If we find what we believe to be an error in a document in our process of updating Assessor’s records we will notify an interested party as a courtesy. However, the Assessor’s Office is not responsible for correcting errors in recorded documents.

    5. How can the name of a deceased person be removed from Assessor’s records?
    6. If Assessor’s records show the deceased owned property in joint tenancy, his/her name can be removed by recording an original copy of his/her death certificate at the County Clerk’s office. If Assessor’s records do not show the property as held in joint tenancy then other legal action may be required. In this event, please contact the County Probate Judge (at 575- 525-6132) or seek help from an attorney.

    7. How can the name of a former spouse be removed from Assessor’s records?
    8. If property was owned together with a former spouse please supply the Assessor’s Office a certified copy of the Final Divorce Decree (and in some cases the Marital Settlement Agreement). Our office can make certain changes to Assessor’s records depending on the language used in the Decree. The Decree must include an adequate legal description (not simply a property address or vague reference to the marital residence). Our Title Examiners Department will examine the decree and make any appropriate changes to Assessor’s records. Or, obtain and record a deed of conveyance from the former spouse.

    9. Can the Assessor’s Office help me fill out a deed?
    10. No. Persons can complete a deed form themselves, an attorney can prepare one, or assistance can be sought from a title insurance company if title to the property is going to be insured. It is illegal for someone who is not an attorney to advise another person how to draft or prepare a legal document. If you encounter a non-attorney preparing or assisting in the preparation of a legal document for another person please report this to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, New Mexico State Bar, at 575-797-6068.

    11. Where can a person get a blank deed or other document forms?
    12. The Assessor’s Office does not provide these forms. They can be found at business or office supply stores, or an attorney’s office.

    13. How can the mailing address for a tax bill be changed?
    14. Our office requires a Change of Address Form to be filled out (can be found on this website). Requests for an address change can be made in person, through the mail, by fax, or by email. Only a person who is vested with title, or one who has power of attorney for an owner, or a personal representative of a vested estate can request a change of mailing address. Proof of identity may be required

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    LIVESTOCK

    1. What is considered “Livestock”?
    2. “Livestock” means cattle, horses, mules/donkeys, sheep, goats, swine, buffalo, and ratites, including ostrich’s, emus, and rhea.

    3. When must Livestock be reported?
    4. All livestock located in the State of New Mexico on January 1st must be reported for property taxation purposes by the last day of February (NMSA 7-36-21)

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    MOBILE HOMES

    1. Must a mobile home be assessed with the County Assessor?
    2. Yes. By state law, mobile homes must be assessed for property taxes. The Assessor requires a copy of the mobile home vehicle registration or the title, along with the mobile home property address or location.

    3. What steps must I take as a mobile home owner before either selling, moving or trading in a mobile home?
    4. Bring your title or registration certificate to the County Assessor's office. The County Assessor's staff will determine if the manufactured home is assessed for property taxes. Tax releases for the selling or trading of a manufactured home will be issued once current and prior year taxes have been paid with the County Treasurer and the seller provides the County Assessor with the new buyer name and mailing address information. A tax release for the movement of a manufactured home will be issued by the assessor once the manufactured home owner has obtained a Manufactured Home Installation Permit from the Building Inspection Department. Current and prior year taxes must be paid with the County Treasurer before issuance of the tax release. The cost of the installation permit is available from Building Inspection Department at (575) 647-7250.

    5. How are mobile home values determined?
    6. The valuation method used for determining the value of manufactured homes for property taxation purposes shall be a cost method, applying generally accepted appraisal techniques and shall generally provide for:

    • the determination of initial cost of a manufactured home based upon classifications of manufactured homes and sales prices for the various classifications.
    • deductions from initial cost for allowable straight line depreciation, which is developed by the State Property Tax Division; and
    • deductions from initial cost of other justifiable factors, including, but not limited to, functional and economic obsolescence.
  • Will my assessment show the value for the land as well as the mobile home?
  • No. The land value appears on a separate assessment. Note also that you will receive two tax bills: One for the mobile home and one for your lot (unless the lot is a rental).

  • What steps must I take to change the status of my manufactured home from personal property to real property?
  • The County Assessor requires the manufactured home owner to fill out a request for permanent status form. An appraiser will then do a physical inspection of the manufactured home. The minimum criteria for a permanent residence status on manufactured housing is as follows:

    • The tongue must be removed.
    • The axles must be removed.
    • The manufactured home must be anchored to a permanent foundation.
    • Moving the manufactured home may not be economically feasible.

    Once the physical inspection is done and the manufactured home has met the criteria for real property, the Assessor's office requires that current and prior year taxes be paid on the manufactured home. The status will be changed the next tax year to a permanent structure.

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    TAX BILLS/PAYMENTS

    COUNTY TREASURER: This elected official is the ex-officio collector for all taxing authorities in the County. Taxing authorities include such organizations as State of New Mexico, school districts, community college, municipalities and flood control authorities.

    The County Treasurer is also responsible for collecting all other money due other County departments such as fees for services, licenses, and revenues from bond issues and special assessments. The Treasurer assures the legality and propriety of deposits and disbursements and invests surplus moneys until they are needed for county operations. The Treasurer also maintains the Official Books of Account for County Government and is the Chief Financial Officer of the County. The Treasurer is elected by the County voters at large as an independent office. The Treasurer is subject to guidance from the Department of Finance and Administration.

    Neither the Board of County commissioners nor the Board of Finance has superintending management or supervisory authority over the Treasurer. All investment actions are by advice and consent.

    The Treasurer's Office is a public office. The staff is available to assist you on property tax matters and to provide scheduled tours with a briefing on our state mandated services. For further information, please contact the County Treasurer's Office at 647-7433.

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    TAX BILLS AND PAYMENTS

    1. When are property tax bills mailed and when are taxes due?
    2. Tax bills are mailed November 1 of every year as required by state law. Taxes are due in two equal installments. The first half payment is due November 10 and must be paid by December 10 to avoid delinquency charges. Second half payments are due by April 10 of the following calendar year and must be made by May 10. If December 10th or May 10th falls on a Sunday, the date will be extended to the next business day.

    3. When do I receive notice of my second half taxes?
    4. The statutes do not require mailing an additional notice for second half taxes. The County Treasurer's Office does provide taxpayers with a reminder notice to avoid delinquencies. For taxpayer convenience, the Treasurer publishes a notification of the second half delinquency date in a newspaper of general circulation within the county.

    5. How can I pay my property taxes?
    6. You may mail your tax payment to the County Treasurer, using a personal check or money order. Please DO NOT mail cash. The address for the Dona Ana County Treasurer is 845 N. Motel Blvd., Las Cruces, NM 88007. You may also pay in person at the same address. The Treasurer's Office strongly recommends payment by mail to avoid long lines and unnecessary delays.

    7. What is the last day to mail my taxes to avoid paying penalty and interest?
    8. December 10th for payment in full or first half payment. May 10th for the second half. The Treasurer's office uses the postmark on your payment envelope to as a proper validation date. If December or May 10th fall on a Sunday, the date will be extended to the next business day.

    9. I do not have my payment coupons. May I mail in my check for the correct amount anyway?
    10. Yes. Be certain to write the tax bill number or the Uniform Property Code number on the check to ensure proper crediting of your payment. If you do not have either number for your property, please call the Treasurer's Office for help (647-7433).

    11. Can I use my income tax refund check to pay my taxes?
    12. No. The Treasurer's Office will not accept third party checks.

    13. My tax payment check was returned marked NSF (non sufficient funds). What should I do?
    14. Call the Treasurer's Office at 647-7433, a $25 check fee will apply.

    15. Can I use a check from a friend or relative to pay my taxes if the check is made out to me?
    16. No. The Treasurer's Office will not accept any third party checks. We do accept checks if properly endorsed to the County Treasurer. If the check is not good, i.e., non sufficient funds, tax payment will be voided, plus your property tax account will be subject to delinquent penalty and interest charges.

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    MORTGAGE COMPANY PAYMENTS

    1. My property is mortgaged. Do I pay the taxes?
    2. Property owners whose mortgage company pays the property taxes will NOT receive a tax bill. If you receive a bill, it is your responsibility to forward it to your mortgage company for payment. By State law, the property owner is responsible to make sure that the mortgage company has paid the property taxes owed. Under a Federal Law, mortgage companies can now pay in two installments.

    3. How can I determine if my taxes have been paid by the mortgage company?
    4. Call the Treasurer's Office at 647-7433 and a staff member will verify payment information for you. The Treasurer's staff will need one of the following in order to give you the necessary payment information: the tax bill number, the name of the owner, or the property address. If payment has not yet been posted (prior to December 10), verification can only be made as to which mortgage company requested billing. The best time to call to verify receipt of payment is after the December 10 deadline. The majority of mortgage companies mail or Federal Express their tax payments on the deadline date. The Treasurer's Office requires several days to post payments to each individual account.

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    REFUNDS

    1. If I paid my property taxes and my mortgage company paid my taxes, who will receive the refund for the duplicate payment?
    2. The Treasurer's Office receipts payments as they are received. Properties for which mortgage companies are scheduled to pay are annotated in our computer system. The mortgage department will research overpayments to determine where the refund check is to be sent. If a homeowner makes a payment and then the mortgage company sends a payment, the overage will normally be sent to the mortgage company to research.

    3. I think I have overpaid my taxes. Will I receive a refund?
    4. State law (7-38-38 NMSA 1978) provides that a refund will be issued only if you request it in writing. Otherwise any excess will be held and applied to your second half taxes. If there are no pending taxes to be paid, we will mail your refund within 60 days of the payment, even if you do not request it.

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    PENALTY & INTEREST

    1. I did not receive my property tax bill and the taxes are now delinquent. Do I have to pay penalty and interest charges?
    2. Yes. By State law, the property owner is responsible for paying the taxes on time whether or not you receive a tax bill. If you have not received your tax bill by November 15, call the Treasurer's Office for help.

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    PARTIAL PAYMENT

    1. I cannot pay the first half of my property taxes by December 10. Can I make a partial payment toward the taxes due?
    2. By Court ruling, the Treasurer's Office cannot refuse partial payments on property tax bills once the tax bill becomes delinquent. Interest and penalty charges will continue to accrue on the unpaid balance of the property tax until the amount due is paid in full.

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    VALUATION PROTESTS

    1. How can I protest my taxes?
    2. By State law (7-38-40 NMSA), property owners may protest their property taxes by filing a claim for refund in District Court no later than the 60th day after the tax due date, November 10. However, the property owner must pay all property taxes due before they become delinquent. The claim for refund must be in a format and contain the information required by State law. If a valuation protest has already been filed for the same tax year for the same problem with the County Assessor (7-38-22 and 7-38-24 NMSA), the owner is prohibited from filing a claim for a refund in District Court.

    3. I protested my property valuation and was told by the Assessor's Office that I should receive another property tax bill with the correct valuation. How long will it be before I receive the new tax bill?
    4. Check the valuation on your tax bill. If the value is in error and your valuation protest was allowed, check with your appraiser at the Assessor's Office to see if the necessary paperwork has been processed. Once the Treasurer's Office has received the paperwork from the Assessor, it may take six to eight weeks before you receive an amended tax bill or refund. If your valuation protest was disallowed, you will not receive another tax bill. You must pay the amount you were taxed by December 10 and May 10 (first and second halves), or you will incur penalty and interest charges.

    5. My valuation protest is still pending. Do I have to pay my taxes by December 10?
    6. According to state law, you must pay at least the amount of tax due on the value not in dispute by December 10. If your valuation protest is still not resolved by the second half due date of May 10, you must also pay the 2nd half tax on value not in dispute.

    7. Will I be charged interest and penalty on my amended tax bill if I don't pay by December 10?
    8. No. Your corrected tax bill will have a new delinquency date and you will receive your new bill at least 30 days before the date the taxes must be paid.

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