Four public meetings on the proposed Eddy County Lodgers’ Tax Ordinance held in Carlsbad and Artesia in June failed to generate public comment, said Steve McCroskey, associate director of Eddy County Community Services.
A final public hearing was slated for Aug. 3 before the Eddy County Board of County Commissioners, McCroskey said as Eddy County Commissioners asked the Eddy County Planning Department to explore the tax and how the revenues collected via that increase could enhance county services.
Eddy County Public and Government Affairs Director Jerry Fanning said despite being heavily advertised, no comments on the proposed 2 percent tax for temporary lodging in unincorporated areas of Eddy County were received.
Fanning said the City of Carlsbad and Eddy County considered a change of respective lodgers’ taxes years ago as a need to fund services.
The New Mexico Legislature passed a law in 2020 amending lodgers’ tax collections after the first 31 days, providing municipalities and counties options on how to use the collected money.
Lodgers’ tax is a tax that property owners and property managers collect from renters.
McCroskey said there is a current 5 percent tax on people staying in hotels for 30 days.
He said imposition of the proposed 2 percent tax change would start 31 days after a person stays temporarily in the unincorporated areas outside of Hope, Artesia, Carlsbad or Loving.
The new ordinance would levy the tax on man camps, recreational vehicle parks and other places of temporary housing.
The City of Carlsbad updated a similar ordinance in 2020. Fanning said the tax is optional and County Commissioners have the final say.
“If it doesn’t pass as far as the Commission is concerned in the application, because it only applies to things outside of municipalities, anything within the county itself this would not apply to if the Commission decides to turn it down,” he said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.