Commercial property taxes skyrocket in Sandoval County

Commercial property taxes skyrocket in Sandoval County

Some business owners in Sandoval County were taken by surprise this spring when they found out their property values went way up.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. – Some business owners in Sandoval County were taken by surprise this spring when they found out their property values went way up and as a result so did their property taxes.

“It is not right, it is outrageous. Jobs will be lost over this,” said Rebecca Bowgan who owns the Guerrero Village.

The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce president and CEO and fellow business owners brought up the concern to county commissioners during their recent meeting.

“I got my property evaluations in I think last week or so and our county assessor Linda Gallegos has raised our property tax by 142.16%, that is just not sustainable for us,” she said.

Guerrero Village on Southern was one of them, the shopping mall is home to seven tenants with small businesses.

“We ourselves support 13 households of our employees and their families with the repercussions and fall out from COVID, minimum wage increases. It has become near impossible to keep small business going in the City of Rio Rancho,” said Dale, who owns a Blinds shop in that shopping mall.

The chamber said businesses do expect some increase in property values, especially if it’s been a few years, but this is something else.

“Then in other cases, you may have someone next door that got a 0% increase and then someone else that got a 500% increase,” said Jerry Schalow, the president & CEO of Rio Rancho Regional Chamber.

To keep the doors open, some business owners say they might have to sacrifice raises or jobs as costs spiral up.

“This is going to affect property insurance rates. Obviously if the assessed value is higher than what is going to happen is property insurance is going to go up. Now your taxes and insurance went up, thus further crunching any profit that business is making,” said Schalow.

KOB 4 reached out to Sandoval County Assessor Linda Gallegos. Here is her statement:

“At the April 24, 2024, Sandoval County Commission Meeting, statements were made that properties’ valuations were increased. What we can share is that two of those properties have had recent sales. One property sold for approximately $180,000 more than its current assessment, and the other sold for approximately $300,000 more than its current assessment. This shows that some properties were underassessed. This fluctuation is typical of the market cycle.” 

Increased demand and higher sales prices in Sandoval County are the primary drivers of assessment valuation. Our role is to analyze the market in estimating the market value of the property. We also are aware that nonresidential property owners are alarmed by significant increases. This is why we encourage any property owner who feels that their property value is incorrect to file a protest and come forth with evidence to help us determine the correct assessment. 

Property owners with concerns about the viability of their businesses should speak with the state legislators to enact changes to the property tax code. County Assessors do not have the authority to make those changes or to defy those laws. All we can do is ensure that the estimate of value we place on the property is current and correct. 

We also want to let property owners know that they can come in and speak with our office concerning their property valuation at any time during the year for the next year’s valuation. We are committed to protecting both the nonresidential property owner and the residential property owner to ensure that the burden is not shifted to the other by following the property tax code.” 

The chamber is encouraging people to protest the assessments if they have seen a significant increase. The deadline is May 1, 2024.