With an average tax rate of 0.81%, Bernalillo County residents pay an average of $1,530 a year in property taxes.
Every homeowner has to deal with paying property taxes. This can be a significant expense, so it’s important to plan and make sure you’ve budgeted for the amount you’ll owe. Anticipating your property tax obligation can be tricky, though. Property taxes vary depending on the value of your home and its location. To make matters even more confusing, tax rates will change from year to year.
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Property tax 101
First, there are some basic concepts about property taxes that every homeowner should be aware of. Longtime property owners are likely already familiar with these. But if you haven’t had to pay property taxes before, here’s what you’ll need to know:
Property taxes are annual charges that have to be paid for any non-exempt real property that you own. This includes things like homes, buildings, and land.
Property taxes are paid to your local government. It will use the money to pay for essential costs associated with running the county, such as public works and community services.
Your yearly property tax obligation will be determined based on your home’s assessed value and the local tax rate.
A local tax assessor will calculate your home’s assessed value using current market values.
The local tax rate will change from one year to the next based on the current budgets of all applicable tax authorities.
In short, property taxes are how your local government entities pay for essential services that keep the community functioning, such as law enforcement, roads, and public education.
What is the property tax rate in Bernalillo County?
Bernalillo County’s average tax rate is 0.81% of assessed home values, which is well below the national average of 1.1%, but significantly higher than the New Mexico statewide average of 0.55%. In terms of real dollars, this means that residents of Bernalillo County can expect to pay an average of $1,530 a year in property taxes.
How Bernalillo County property taxes are determined
Property taxes in Bernalillo County are primarily based on two values: the taxable value of your home and the local tax rate or “millage rate.”
The taxable value of your home is the amount of its market value that is eligible to be taxed. In New Mexico, the taxable value is equal to one-third of the house’s appraised market value. So if your house is worth $120,000, you’ll only be taxed on $40,000 of that.
A local tax assessor will determine the market value of your home which will, in turn, be used to calculate its taxable value.
In Bernalillo County, property tax rates (also called millage rates) are expressed in “mills.” A mill is $1 of tax owed for every $1,000 of taxable value. So, if you live in an area where the millage rate is ten and the taxable value of your home is $200,000, your tax obligation would be $2,000.
The formula looks like this:
Total yearly property tax obligation = (taxable value/1000) x millage rate.
The millage rate will vary across the county. It is determined by what tax jurisdictions your property falls under. A taxing jurisdiction is a region whose residents are obligated to pay property taxes to a corresponding taxing authority.
Taxing authorities are local government bodies such as city governments, school districts, and the county itself. Each taxing authority will levy its millage rate depending on its projected budget for the coming year.
The millage rates for every taxing authority that your property falls under are added up to calculate the total millage rate for your area.
What do Bernalillo County property taxes pay for?
As in all areas, Bernalillo County uses revenue from property taxes to fund essential infrastructure, upkeep, maintenance, public works, and community services. Some of the expenses that your taxes will pay for each year include:
Public libraries and museums
These are the perennial expenses that will always need to be paid. In addition, the 2021
Bernalillo County Comprehensive Financial Report lists several high-priority initiatives. These initiatives represent expenses that will receive funding from tax revenue in the near future. They include:
Repayment on Federal Grants which were given out in response to COVID-19
Construction costs for finishing the new county administration building at Alvarado Square
Construction of the new Bernalillo County Public Safety Training Academy
Construction of a new soccer stadium at the Mesa del Sol site
Construction of the new Route 66 Visitor Center and Fire Station 37
Renovations of the CARE campus for the Department of Behavioral Health Services
Several economic development initiatives
Several public works projects
Of course, this is only an overview of the county’s expenditures. For a detailed breakdown of all spending, you’ll want to view the official report.
How to pay property taxes in Bernalillo County
Bernalillo County property taxes are levied annually and paid in two equal installments. The first payment is due between November 10th and December 10th. The second payment is due between April 10th and May 10th.
Bernalillo County property tax laws permit you to pay your taxes in the manner of your choosing. You can pay online, by mail, or in person.
Online: You can
pay online using a credit or debit card.
By mail: You can pay by mailing a check to: Bernalillo County Treasurer, PO Box 27800 Albuquerque, NM 87125-7800.
In person: You can pay in person by going to the Alvarado Square Downtown location at 415 Silver Ave SW. Their hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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