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Are you or your business paying too much property tax?...some experts say “yes.” Get ready for McKinley County’s upcoming annual property tax assessments.

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is famous for his quotation that “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  Unlike now, during the colonial era the typical American paid no income or property tax.  Today, the public relies upon government to play a larger role in their lives than the founders did, therefore federal, state, county, and local entities levy taxes upon their citizens.  These taxes come in a wide variety of forms:  Not only do businesses and individuals pay annual income taxes to state and federal governments, but they also pay taxes—in the form of sales and property taxes—to the counties they live in. 


As a taxpayer, you can never completely defeat taxation.  But, with successful tax planning and advocacy, you can lower your taxes to the lowest legal amount possible. 


One form of tax planning comes in the form of ensuring that your property taxes are assessed correctly.  Many municipalities habitually “overassess” (i.e. overvalue) parcels of land hoping that local taxpayers aren’t “paying attention” and will blindly pay overpay their property taxes.  In fact, many taxpayers don’t even realize that they are able to contest the government’s property valuation and by doing so might lower their annual tax bills.  All New Mexico Counties rely upon their duly-elected County Assessor to annually value property.  Following this valuation, the County Assessor applies the relevant “mill rate” to a piece of property and sends out annual tax notices.  Paid in two installments, New Mexico property owners are responsible for their annually assessed property taxes—and failure to timely do so will lead to the government attaching a “tax lien” to property.


Did you know that McKinley County has some of the highest property taxes in the State of New Mexico?  In 2019, most Gallup property owners paid property taxes between 1.1% and 1.4% of their property’s value.  When inappropriately assessed, these tax rates can approach close to 2.0% of property value!  This is unjust.  Over time, these taxes add up and become highly burdensome.  While most of the time, the County Assessor correctly calculates property taxes, in some limited circumstances, the Assessor’s Office makes a “mistake” and overcharges property owners.  Particularly egregious in McKinley County is that relatively valuable property is habitually “overassessed” as McKinley County hopes to “shore up” annually sliding tax revenues by forcing Gallup’s wealthiest residents and business owners to pay an increasingly massive share of the town’s taxes.  (Since 2014, McKinley County’s total property tax revenues collected have shrunk by 2.1% from $828.7 million in 2014 to just $811.4 million in 2019).     


If you are interested in investigating whether you have a strong case to challenge the government’s property tax assessment, call the Troon Law Group, LLC at (480) 518-3569 or contact us and we can begin researching your case.  Now is a good time to reach out, because once McKinley County sends out its annual “Notice of Valuation”—The 2020 notices will be sent out in the next couple of months—you only have 30 days to protest the government’s valuation.  Thus, if you are interested in protesting your current tax evaluation, contact us now and we can be ready to advocate for you when the time comes.   Don’t be a victim of unfair taxes…contact us today.

DISCLAIMER: The legal analyses and blog materials on Troon Law Group, LLC’s website are marketing materials and are not legal advice for your individual situation. These materials are opinionated content and reliance upon the following materials is not advised. While this article is written by a licensed attorney, Troon Law Group, LLC and its employees are not your attorney(s) and reading and/or acting upon this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Troon Law Group, LLC or its employees. This article provides GENERAL legal information and should not be used as legal advice. Reliance on this information for your personal situation is NOT recommended, because each case is individualized and stands on its own facts and legal foundation, therefore you should consult with an attorney AND NOT rely on this information in lieu of retaining legal services.