Letter To The Editor: Vote Yes For HB33 And Support Education In Our Community

By MARTHA KATKO
Los Alamos

To my fellow community members,

Let’s talk a little about HB33 and property taxes. HB33 is on the November ballot. Passage of HB33 provides an important funding source for our schools and provides necessities such as desks and chairs, computers and playground equipment. This funding is already in place. We already pay it. What we are voting on is whether to continue this funding. Passage of HB33 will NOT add to your taxes.

I know there are people concerned about their property taxes right now because the value of homes has been growing rapidly. Did you know that your taxation rate does NOT grow equally with these increases in value? When you buy your home, a value is set and that is what you are taxed on. Barring significant improvements (such as an addition) to your property, the taxable value cannot increase more than 3% over the previous year, no matter how much the actual value increases. If you already own your home, you don’t need to worry about current market rates when it comes to determining your taxable property value.

Did you know there may be ways to reduce your property tax payments? The Head of Family Exemption reduces the taxable value of a property by $2,000. The Veteran’s Exemption reduces it by $4,000. If you qualify for either, they are really easy to apply for with the County Assessor’s office. There is also an exemption for fully disabled vets and a valuation limitation for disabled elderly residents with limited income. They have a great flyer, which gives a lot of info on how your property is valued and on the exemptions. It can be accessed here. https://www.losalamosnm.us/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=17002284

If you are eligible for exemptions that you aren’t taking, please contact the Assessor’s office and apply today. This is the right way to bring down your property taxes without taking important funding away from our schools.

Please join me in voting Yes for HB33 and supporting education in our community.

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