Nonprofits must reapply for their exemptions

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The Socorro County Assessor’s Office must remove all non-government exemptions from their records, and nonprofit organizations have to reapply for their exemptions.

The assessor’s office is responsible for valuing all real estate for the taxing authorities in the county. Assessed values determine how much the owners pay in property taxes.

Julie Griego, office manager for the assessor’s office, gave the department’s report to the Socorro County Commission during the commission’s regular meeting Feb. 12. She said representatives from the state Taxation and Revenue Department’s Property Tax Division were at the assessor’s office the week before and told them the county must remove all the non-government exemptions from the rolls, including the hospital’s exemption.

“They have to reapply for it,” Griego said. “So we’re going to be doing that this week, remove all of those non-governmental exemptions and have them reapply.”

County attorney Adren Nance said non-government exemptions are for churches or properties that are used primarily for educational or charity purposes. He added being a 501(c)(3) nonprofit does not automatically make organizations exempt under New Mexico law.

Griego mentioned the Property Tax Division went through all of the commissioners’ properties, rechecking and remeasuring, and found some discrepancies that the assessor’s office must fix.

Griego also said the assessor’s office is still working on its mass reappraisal of properties in the county. Within the past few weeks, they picked up a new subdivision that adds over $60,000 to the county’s property valuation.

In other business, under the financial action items portion of the agenda, the County Commission:

  • Approved miscellaneous housekeeping budget adjustments. County finance director Roberta Smith pointed out she had to make a transfer of about $20,000 from the general fund to the DWI office because the state won’t let the office be reimbursed for worker’s compensation paid out.
  • Approved budget adjustments at the sheriff’s department. Smith said the department didn’t get any extra money, but she moved funds from some line items to other line items that had deficit amounts.
  • Approved miscellaneous budget adjustments, including adjustments for the road department. Smith said she must wait until FEMA and Title 2 RAC money come in before she can do many adjustments necessary for the road department. Other adjustments included a grant that came in for the Abeytas Volunteer Fire Department, as well as fundraising money that came in for the senior center.
  • Approved housekeeping budget adjustments in the county’s senior volunteer program.
  • Acknowledged the county’s finance report and journal entries from September 2012 through January 2013. Smith explained so many budget adjustments were necessary because all of the departments overspent, mostly because of necessary items they weren’t budgeted for to begin with.
  • Approved budgeted versus actual expenditures from July 1, 2012, through Oct. 31, 2012.
  • Approved vendor checks from Jan. 28 through Feb. 8 totaling $849,690.74.
  • Approved payroll checks totaling $175,284.68 for Jan. 23 and $171,818.58 for Feb. 6.

Smith said she hasn’t been able to meet with department heads this year as much as she would like because of the county’s software conversion to Tyler. She said this round of budget adjustments put most of the county’s departments back on track where they should be.

“I just have to continue watching their spending,” Smith said.

County manager Delilah Walsh said the next budgeted versus actual expenditures report will be cleaned up and will reflect actual revenue that was not shown in the report presented to the commission that day.

“We maybe overspent, but we do have offsetting revenue,” Walsh said. “It’s not as good as we’d want it to be, but we can bring that under control.”

Walsh said department budgets weren’t cut this fiscal year, but departments had unexpected expenses.

 

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