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The Artesia City Council convened Aug. 31 for a special meeting in which the lone item on the agenda was consideration of a resolution opposing the Eddy County Commission’s proposed Hold Harmless Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) increase.

The resolution expresses that the State of New Mexico’s allowance of incremental increases of Hold Harmless GRT up to three-eighths was designed to allow counties and municipalities to compensate for the state’s phasing out of the “hold harmless” payments for its removal of GRT on food and medical services.

“The one-eighth percent GRT already imposed by the county commission is expected to generate $5,000,000 in annual revenue,” the resolution reads, while revenue from the one-eighth increase the commission previously passed in June “will more than replace the state’s annual hold harmless payment to Eddy County of approximately $300,000.”

The resolution also expresses concern over the burden placed upon Eddy County residents, who would be subject to the new county taxes in addition to any municipal taxes, as well as the unfriendly climate the higher GRT rate would create in the business sector.

“Therefore, be it resolved by the governing body of the City of Artesia that we, the mayor and city council, do hereby voice our opposition to the Eddy County Commission’s proposed imposition of an additional two-eighths of 1 percent GRT,” reads the resolution, which was passed and approved. “Be it further resolved that the governing body of the City of Artesia encourages every resident of Eddy County to contact the Eddy County Commission and voice their opinions regarding the proposed additional taxes.”