Lincoln County Taxing R-1 Vacant Lots as Non Residential/Commercial

As you know we are working with Zach Cook, our RLCAR attorney, to reverse the County Assessor's classification of residential properties engaged in nightly rental activity as Non-Residential. We believe our efforts will be successful based on existing case law from a prior New Mexico State Supreme Court decision.

We'll continue to provide updates as the property owner with whom we're working passes through the tax protest phase and we prepare for our declaratory action with the courts.

Now it seems another situation has become evident with the Assessor's office. Century 21's James Paxson shared a discussion he had with one of his clients wherein he learned his client's R-1 zoned residential lot has also been reclassified by Lincoln County as NR.

His client questioned the Assessor's office asking while his lot was being classified Non-Residential and it was explained repeatedly it was because there was no house on the land.

HUH? This makes ABSOLUTELY no sense.

We're past the 2020 tax protest period so there's nothing which can be initiated this year. I've confirmed this with Zach Cook. But as we move forward we should focus on the following;

1) Speak with your clients and notify them that this reclassification is occurring and ask them to express their displeasure to the Assessor's office.

2) Let's work to identify a property owner who has been reclassified as a potential plaintiff which RLCAR and Zack Cook can work with to protest this reclassification next tax season.

3) Work with NMAR to secure a commitment for additional legal expense funds this year so we'll be prepared for next year's activity.

4) An RLCAR member should strongly consider running against Assessor Walter Hill during the next election cycle. Your campaign with these two tax issues is already in hand and you'd have the support of our membership and our spheres of influence. You'd probably win in a landslide.

These reclassifications are abusive and we need to stop them. Thanks for all you do.

Ideally yours,

Bob Moroney

(575) 937-7437

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