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County to hold public hearing regarding tax

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A public hearing about whether to extend an existing tax collected by Chaves County is scheduled to occur Tuesday at a Chaves County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The commissioners are planning to consider the issue at 9 a.m. as part of the group’s regular monthly meeting held at the Chaves County Administrative Center, 1 St. Mary’s Plaza.

Two other public hearings on the agenda concern requests to vacate an easement and a right-of-way.

The public hearing about the tax issue concerns what is known as the Chaves County Hold Harmless gross receipts tax, which is one-eighth of one percent, or 0.125 percent.

Charged to most businesses operating in the county and typically passed on to customers, the tax amounts to 12.5 cents for every $100 worth of goods or services purchased. For-hire transportation services originating within the county to outside the county and direct broadcast satellite services are exempt.

According to County Manager Stan Riggs, the existing ordinance authorizing the tax had a sunset date. The proposed ordinance to be considered Tuesday, O-102, would keep the tax at the same rate, effective July 1, 2019, but would have no expiration date.

The tax now generates about $710,000 a year for the county, according to county staff. Riggs said the county hopes to pay off debt in 2019, saving the county $150,000 to $200,000 a year in interest and loan payments. That savings, along with the Hold Harmless tax revenue, would provide the county with the financial ability to fund some capital projects over the next few years, he said.