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Council to discuss potential settlement in GRT lawsuit

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The Roswell City Council will have a special meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss a potential settlement in a lawsuit it joined with about 40 other plaintiffs against the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, according to the mayor.

The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday in Meeting Room A of the Roswell Convention & Civic Center, 912 N. Main St. The main item on the agenda is a closed session to discuss attorney-client privilege pertaining to a lawsuit involving the Tax and Revenue Department.

No vote is scheduled after the closed session and a report or announcement from the city manager is the only other item on the agenda. The meeting will not be livestreamed.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh, reached by phone Wednesday morning, did confirm the lawsuit mentioned is one the city joined as a plaintiff in November 2019 over the state’s handling of gross receipts taxes.

The state collects GRT from goods and services purchased in the state and distributes a portion of it back to local governments each month.

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The lawsuit, originally filed in 2018 by Albuquerque and three other cities in the 2nd Judicial District, alleges the state has not properly followed statutes in how it has collected and disbursed GRT, which are a primary source of funds for local governments.

By the end of 2019, the number of plaintiffs had grown to 44. Among the plaintiffs are the cities of Santa Fe, Farmington, Artesia, Alamogordo, Las Cruces, the village of Ruidoso, and the counties of Eddy, Roosevelt, Otero and Lincoln. Chaves County is not among the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs seek compensation for what they believe to be unauthorized reductions in GRT.

In January 2020, Aaron Holloman, who was city attorney at that time, told the Roswell Daily Record the amount of GRT the city alleged it had lost could not be specified publicly but it was a significant enough amount to pursue the lawsuit.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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