Property taxes remain below inflation rate

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Socorro County residential property taxes, when comparing 2003 to 2013, have for the most part remained under the federal estimated rate of inflation.

Specifically within city limits, overall residential taxes within Socorro have raised almost 5 mills or 15.5 percent or $5 per $1,000 of assessments since 2003.

Divided over 10 years, that’s 1.55 percent, which on average was below nine of the 10 years of calculated national inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2003, the total residential property taxable amount was $55,910,903 within Socorro city limits, at a total mill levy of 26.3. By 2013 the taxable amount was $72,787,440 for residential property within Socorro city limits, at a total 31.25 mill levy.

Currently, Socorro County officials said they are in the midst of a sweeping re-appraisal by utilizing a new system to track each parcel accurately.

“We picked up about $6 million within the last year – $3 million within the city limits alone – with home renovations, additions,” Deputy County Assessor Julia Griego said. “As far as new homes (built), there weren’t too many.”

With the new system, many of the assessments have risen in the last few years, that plus the market inflation. In looking at 2014 figures, which are still being substantiated by the county, the next assessment is slated to be more than $89,000 per average residential home – about $11,000 more in total average residential assessment than 2013.

“We’re (assessing) stuff that should have been picked up,” Griego said.

Some other factors that contribute to this are the Socorro General Hospital rate that was between 2.86 mill and 3.743 mill for residential and commercial respectively. That was flattened since 2003 to a 4.250 mill levy across the county. Also, the city of Socorro has not collected debt service or operational costs from property taxes for 2003 and 2013.

Mill levies between the various conservation districts have fluctuated throughout the decade. Most taxes have risen marginally and, in the case of the of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, the mill levy decreased from 4.96 to 3.97 for residents from 2003 to 2013 and 6.20 to 4.960 for non-residential properties within the district (which encompasses some 90,000 parcels of land). Although, the district board recently approved a 5 percent increase to its ad valorem mill levy rate.

The most expensive residential property taxes within the county exist within the city of Socorro.

The cheapest are just within the county lines east of Carrizozo in Lincoln County.

For 2003, median home price, figures for homes $200,000 and more, as well as other statistics were not readily available from the county. But those statistics for 2007 were obtainable.

In 2007, Socorro County assessed within the city limits:

• 2,119 parcels with site built homes on them within the city limits

• 39 homes assessed at $200,000 or more within city limits

• The median residential property value was $64,926 within city limits

• The average bill for that was $626.12 (tax dollar)

Those averages were not calculated for mobile homes in the area, which were listed at:

• 899 mobile homes within the city limits

• Mobile home average assessed value was $6,195

For 2013 within Socorro city limits:

• There were 2,262 parcels with homes in the city

• 71 homes were assessed at $200,000 or more

• The average home assessed value was $78,787

• The average residential property tax bill was $820

• For parcels with residential units, the average tax bill rose $194 from 2007 to 2013, or $32.44 each year

The statistics for mobile homes in 2013 were:

• 1,152 within the city limits

• The median price of mobile homes was $3,605

Other stats:

• Socorro weekly wages 2007 fourth quarter $504

• Socorro weekly wages 2013 fourth quarter $607.