County commission form property tax protest board

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Quay County commissioners have formed a board to hear 70 protests against property tax increases in the county.

The board was formed at the request of Quay County Tax Assessor Janie Murray on Monday at the regular commission meeting. The board will consist of Sally Baker, Keith Bowen and alternate Drake Swenson.

“There were 79 total protests against property tax increases from Quay County residents,” Murray said.

Residential properties increased 6 percent while the commercial properties tax increased from 30 to 100 percent, Murray said. A majority of the protests were from commercial property owners.

Commercial properties’ steep increase is the result of the Property Tax Department in Santa Fe directing the removal of a 20 percent economic factor for depreciation that was instituted in the 1980s, officials said.

Murray said nine protests had been resolved but an additional 70 protests were filed on April 30, which was the last date for filing.

Before any protests are heard by the board, Murray said she will have an informal hearing with each of the protesters to try and resolve the situation.

If the protests cannot be resolved, then a schedule of hearings will be set for the appointed board and an official from the Property Tax Department at Santa Fe, Murray said. The hearings will determine if the increase to the property tax was justified.

“It could take as much as two days to resolve all of the protests,” Murray said.