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The Eddy County Commission says a voter referendum will be held sometime in the next few months as a result of a petition that successfully requires the board to put its recent tax increases to a public vote.

The petition, which was largely circulated in Artesia – where the Gross Receipts Tax, or sales tax, rate would increase to more than 8 percent should the county’s increases take effect as planned Jan. 1, 2018 – secured the necessary 1,550 valid signatures to force a vote on the issue.

The county in May enacted a trio of incremental GRT increases – one-twelfth of 1 percent that would be dedicated to the Safety Net Care Pool for indigent medical costs, one-eighth that would be dedicated to the Eddy County Detention Center, and one-eighth for the county’s general fund.

The ballot will likely consist of two questions, simply asking whether voters approve or disapprove of the two one-eighth increases.

The commission plans to set a date for the vote, as well as the ballot type – physical or mail-in – at its Aug. 8 meeting. The county has said it estimates the cost of the referendum to be approximately $60,000.

The commission is also currently considering four proposed draft ordinances.

The Solid Waste, Nuisance and Illegal Dumping Ordinance, New Rural Addressing Ordinance, Eddy Remake RV Ordinance / “Man Camps,” and Eddy County Business Licensing and Registration Ordinance are all available for viewing on the county website. They can be accessed by clicking Government, then Community Services, Planning & Development, and Draft Ordinances.

The commission’s next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, in Commission Chambers and will be the board’s only meeting in August.

The board’s next meeting in Artesia is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, in Council Chambers at City Hall.