Q. Does the taxpayer have the right to appeal from the hearing officer’s decision?
Yes. If either the taxpayer or the Department disagrees with the factual findings or legal conclusions of the hearing officer, that party may file an appeal with the New Mexico Court of Appeals within 30 days after the date of the decision. Appeals are decided based solely on the evidence and arguments presented at the administrative hearing. All administrative tax hearings are hearings “of record,” which means that a tape recording or transcript is made of the proceedings. This record is then used by the New Mexico Court of Appeals if either party decides to appeal from the hearing officer’s decision.
Q. Where are delinquent property tax auctions held?
Delinquent property tax auctions are held at the county seat (courthouse) or at a place the Department designates in the county where the property is located. The Property Tax Division strongly urges all potential bidders to inspect the property ahead of time and check the paper history on the chain of title before the auction. Because trespassing is not allowed, site inspections must be from a distance. All property is sold “as is” and is not guaranteed.
Q. When does the Property Tax Division hold delinquent property tax sales?
There is no set schedule for public auctions. They occur in each county as title research is completed, all other collection efforts are exhausted and as the Division moves forward in placing property back on the tax rolls. The Division does not hold sales in all 33 counties each year. For information about when a sale may occur in a given county that is not listed on our current sale schedule, please contact the Property Tax Division at (505) 827-0883 or check our website.
Q. Where can I find copies of sale lists?
Upon completion of all preliminary statutory requirements to properly offer delinquent property for sale, a list of eligible properties is available at the Property Tax Division office at the Wendell Chino Bldg, 1220 St. Francis Dr., 2nd Floor, Rm. 207, Santa Fe, NM 87505. The Property Tax Division does not mail sale lists. You can sign up to be notified of sales or any changes that occur in the Property Tax Delinquent Bureau. You can find copies of the sale lists through the county treasurer, the county assessor or you can check our website .
Q. What determines the minimum bid on real property?
The minimum bid is based on the total of taxes, penalty, interest and costs due. The owner’s interest in the real property is also taken into consideration.
Q. How can a buyer bid on property offered at tax sales?
Individuals who wish to bid on property register two hours before the start of the auction on the day of the sale. Registration closes promptly at the start of the sale. Bidding is on an oral basis with the property going to the highest bidder. Bidders must be physically present or represented by an agent. The agent must present a notarized authorization document to the Property Tax Division upon registration.
Q. Does the Property Tax Division provide buyers with title information (deeds, mortgage, liens etc.) prior to a tax sale?
The Property Tax Division does not furnish title information, maps or suggestions about the locations of properties being sold. The responsibility to inspect the property and review the chain of title belongs to the buyer prior to the sale. Buyers should know exactly what they are buying before the sale. The property is awarded to the highest bidder “as is.” There are no refunds, and all sales are final.
Q. If a buyer purchases a property through a tax sale, are all other existing liens against that property extinguished at that time?
A sale properly made under Section 7-38-67 NMSA 1978 constitutes full payment of all delinquent taxes, penalties and interest considered as a lien against the property. The sale extinguishes the tax lien only. No other liens are extinguished. The responsibility to inspect the property and review the chain of title belongs to the buyer prior to the sale.
Q. Does New Mexico have a right of redemption for former owners?
New Mexico has no right of redemption for former owners. It does offer a two-year limitation for the former owner to challenge the sale under Section 7-38-70 NMSA 1978. The only redemption period in New Mexico is a 120-day federal IRS redemption. The IRS has 120 days after the auction to buy the property from the successful bidder up to the amount purchased.
Q. What types of payment are acceptable at public auction sales?
All payments at public auctions must be in the form of a cashier's check, money order, personal check or company check. A letter of guarantee from the issuing bank must accompany personal and company checks at the time of registration. Letters of guarantee must state that the bank will guarantee payment up to a specific amount. Personal or company checks are unacceptable otherwise. There is reasonable time after the conclusion of the sale for parties to acquire a cashier's check or money order for the amount of their purchases.
Q. What happens if a buyer does not pay for a piece of property?
Any bidder who does not pay once the auction closes may not participate in any future property tax sales. In addition, the bidder is responsible for all costs, expenses, and attorney fees expended in the collection of uncollected bids.
Q. Is property bought at a delinquent tax sale assessed and taxed on the amount of purchase?
The purchase price of a property acquired at auction does not dictate its value. The county assessor has already determined a taxable value based on the appraisal analysis of similar properties in the area. Before buying at auction the prospective bidder should assess the value by consulting the county assessor’s office and talking to realtors and owners of property bordering the piece to be sold.
Q. What type of deed does the Property Tax Division issue for property sold at tax sales?
The state issues a tax deed equivalent to a quitclaim deed. The deed conveys all of the former owner's interest in the real property as of the date the state's lien for real property taxes arose. This deed is subject only to perfected interests in the real property that existed before the date of the property tax lien. New Mexico warrants no title to property you buy at public auction. It is sold “as is.” The deed issued by the Property Tax Division can be used as the basis to begin clearing the title through the court.
Q. What is a perfected interest?
Interest in real property is "perfected" when the deed or lien is recorded with the County Clerk's Office in the county where the property is located.
Q. Which sections of the Taxation and Revenue Department Selected Laws and Regulations contain the property tax statutes?
Q. Where can I find copies of the property tax and motor vehicle statutes?
You may purchase a copy from Conway Greene or you may contact the Tax Information and Policy Office at (505) 827-0908 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . The statutes can also be accessed online.
Q. Is there a mailing list to notify prospective buyers about upcoming sales?
The Property Tax Division does not mail sale lists. You can sign up to be notified of sales or any changes that occur in the Property Tax Delinquent Bureau, or you can check our website. You can also contact the Property Tax Division at (505) 827-0883.
Q. How does land used for agriculture qualify for a special method of valuation?
Depending on whether the county assessor agrees, there must be a bona fide primary agricultural use of the land and the capacity to produce agricultural products. The property owner must initially apply for this classification. Refer to Section 7-36-20 NMSA 1978
Q. What is the valuation basis of my commercial or non-residential assessment?
Q. What is the valuation basis of my residential assessment?
If you bought your land in the prior year, or the property changed classification (from residential to non-residential use, for instance), or you made an improvement to the structure, then your assessment is limited to an increase of 1.03% or 1.061%, depending on the assessment cycle the assessor has chosen pursuant to Section 7-36-21.2 NMSA 1978. If the following limits do not apply to your property, it will be valued as current and correct as required by Section 7-36-16 NMSA 1978.
This limitation on increases in value does not apply to:
- a residential property in the first tax year that it is valued for property taxation;
- any physical improvements made to the property during the year immediately prior to the tax year, or
- valuation of a residential property in any tax year in which a change of ownership of the property occurred in the prior year, or the use or zoning of the property has changed in the prior year.
Q. What effect on valuation does the 65-and-older limitation have?
If a qualifying applicant is 65 or older or is disabled, the value of the property cannot increase from the prior year. The applicant must file yearly and provide the assessor with proof of age, occupancy and income for the tax year for which application is made.
Q. I do not agree with the valuation notice, denial of exemption or classification of property that I received from my county assessor. What can I do?
The law, specifically, Section 7-38-24 NMSA 1978 entitles you to file a petition of protest with your county assessor within 30 days after you receive your valuation notice. If your disagreement is not resolved, you will be scheduled for a protest hearing before the County Valuation Protests Board. The board usually decides protests within 180 days of the date that the protest was filed unless extended by a director’s order. A written order is issued within 30 days of the hearing unless extended by agreement of the board and the taxpayer.
Q. I have filed a protest with my county assessor. What must I do to support my case?
You may request an informal conference according to Section 7-38-24.D NMSA 1978 and 188.8.131.52.B.1,2,3 before the scheduled hearing date. At the informal conference you and the county exchange information each of you has to support value, classification or exemption. Information can be a current appraisal, purchase agreement or market analysis. If it is income-producing property, you would present your income and expense reports. Many times your concerns will be resolved during the informal conference. If not, you proceed to the Valuation Protest Hearing.
Q. I have received the Valuation Protest Board's decision and am not in agreement. Can I appeal the decision?
Yes, by law you have the right to appeal. File your appeal in District Court. The appellee (the assessor or commission of your county) must be named. File the appeal under the provisions of Section 12-8A-1 NMSA 1978 no later than 30 days from the date of decision.
Q. I have a manufactured home. In order to refinance it and the land it sits on, I was told by the finance company that I must deactivate the title. If this is so, what do I have to do?
Q. When is the last day to file property tax reports?
The deadline for reporting is on or before the last day of February of the tax year unless an extension is requested and approved by the division director. If the last day falls on a weekend, the deadline is on the next regularly-scheduled workday.
Q. How much more time is allowed if the extension is approved?
The extension is granted for an additional 30 days.
Q. Can Central Assessed Bureau (CAB) forms be reproduced or generated from the computer?
CAB forms and other industry-specific forms can be reproduced or computer-generated as long as they follow the same format as the original forms. You can also download these forms online
Q. Are intangible assets taxable?
Intangible assets are not taxable.
Q. Are household effects subject to the personal property tax?
No. The Property Tax Code generally exempts personal property unless it is used for the person's profession, business or occupation.
Q. I own a small business. I use a computer and a few pieces of office furniture and equipment. They are my own personal items acquired mostly before the business was started. Must I report them to the county assessor and pay property taxes on them?
If you are not taking a deduction for depreciation on your federal income tax on these items, you do not need to report or pay property tax on them even though you use them for your profession, business or occupation.
Q. My business bought computers and other pieces of office equipment on January 2 of this year. Are they subject to tax this year?
No. January 1 of the tax year is the "taxable situs" date. The assets should be reported the following year. “Situs” means the property is "…physically present in the state on the date when it is required to be valued for property taxation purposes…"
Q. My business reported all assets to the county assessor at the depreciated net book value at year end. The assessor ignored these values and used a different depreciation schedule, thus increasing the values. Is this legal?
The assessor is mandated to use class life and established depreciation schedules. The net book value you calculated is for federal income tax. The assessor is not allowed to use your net book value, but the assessor should use your acquisition cost and date of acquisition to recalculate the value for property tax purposes.
Q. Over the years my business has bought computer software. Some counties are telling me that software is exempt, while others tell me it is taxable. Who is right? What are the criteria to determine taxability?
Computer software has been complex since it was first introduced. Computer software is a class of personal property. It is comprised of several different subclasses of personal property that can be divided by use, development, distribution, and relationship to hardware. Software includes custom software, canned software and embedded software.
Because the valuation of software presents administrative burdens to both the assessing units and the taxpayers of New Mexico, treat the software classes as follows:
- Canned (off the shelf) software is subject to property tax. It is valued using a three-year life and straight-line depreciation [Internal Revenue Code, Section 167(f)(1).]
- If canned software is modified, only the canned portion is subject to tax.
- Any software that comes with the equipment (i.e. Windows, etc.) is taxed as part of the machinery or equipment. Usually the cost of the machinery and equipment includes the embedded software.
- Custom software that is customized for the company only and is subject to an exclusive license and greatly modified, is exempt from property taxation.
Q. My federal income tax report is due on April 15. I bought various assets between April 15 and December 31 of last year, but I have not claimed a deduction for depreciation for federal income tax during the twelve months immediately proceeding the first day of the property tax year. The assets were located in my office in X County on the first day of the property tax year. Do I report them this year to the county assessor, or do I wait until next year, after I have reported them for depreciation for the first time?
Report the assets this year. The assets are reportable for federal income tax in the current year. The fact that the reporting deadlines for property tax fall before reporting deadlines for federal income tax does not postpone the taxability by one year. This provision is in line with the IRS's position that "depreciation for tax purposes begins when an asset is placed in service and ends when it is retired from service." The IRS considers an asset placed in service "when it is in a condition or state of readiness and availability for its assigned function."
Q. I have a DVD store business. The majority of my business is the renting out of DVDs and players. I also sell some DVDs occasionally. What percent good factors do I use for reporting property tax?
This asset class calls for a class life of nine years, so you must depreciate the assets using Table 11 of the State Assessed Valuation Guideline. Link to: ***Document: State Assessed Valuation Guideline.pdf
Q. I purchased a piece of equipment for $25,000 and have taken the one-time Section 179 Internal Revenue Code deduction. Must I report the equipment to the county assessor?
The equipment is subject to property taxation only in the first tax year after you take the federal deduction. If you purchased the piece in March, for example, then the equipment is subject to tax on January 1 of the following year and not thereafter. If the equipment is ten-year property , see
Table 13 of the State Assessed Valuation Guideline. Link to: ***Document: State Assessed Valuation Guideline.pdf the assessor puts it on the tax rolls for the following tax year at 95.6% ($23,900) of the original cost. The taxable value is 1/3 or $7,967. Visit the IRS website at Link to: www.irs.gov.
Q. What is the approved method for the valuation of taxable personal property?
The "Special Method" is outlined in theProperty Tax Code,
Section 7-36-33 NMSA 1978
. The method is a cost approach. The statute calls for using the "tangible property cost or " the "actual cost of acquisition or construction of property including additions, retirements, adjustments and transfers." Depreciation must be considered. Calculate depreciation using the straight-line method to compute the depreciation allowance over the useful life of the item of property. The useful life is the class life defined in Section 167 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Click here to search US Tax Code.
Q. I lease several items of personal property to others. Am I still subject to property tax?
Yes. The owner of personal property used in a business and subject to federal income tax depreciation is also subject to ad valorem taxes in New Mexico. If your lease agreement passes the property tax along to the lessee, the lessee can report the assets directly. Agreements that require lessees to pay local taxes, where equitable title does not pass from lessor to lessee, are simply agreements between two parties (neither of which is the county assessor) that allow the lessor to pass the property taxes to the lessee. The agreement does not free the owner from his tax obligation to the county. The tax liability statutorily rests on the owner of the personal property. For administrative convenience we suggest that leased personal property be assessed separately from owned personal property; for example, an assessment for a leased Xerox Copying Machine should be:
XXX Corporation, Owner
YYY Store #12, Lessee
C/O YYY, Inc.
One Sureway Plaza
Dallas, Texas 00000-0000
An assessment like this identifies all parties without further investigation. In all cases where the assessment is made against the lessee, keep on file a copy of the lease agreement showing the make, model, serial number and description of each item of leased personal property. Additionally, note the location of the leased equipment.
Q. What is situs?
Situs in regard to personal property is property "…physically present in the state on the date when it is required to be valued for property taxation purposes…" That date is, in almost all cases, January 1 of the tax year. If personal property, including livestock and construction equipment, is present in the taxing jurisdiction on January 1 of the tax year, it is subject to property taxation. Livestock and construction equipment, however, are subject to yet another date. If livestock or construction equipment is present in a New Mexico taxing jurisdiction for more than 20 days after January 1, then the livestock or construction equipment is valued for property taxation as of the first day of the month after the month in which they spent the 20 days in the state. Use a basic allocation formula that prorates value according to the amount of time that livestock or construction equipment is in the state and subject to valuation for property taxation.
Q. Who is responsible for property taxes when a mobile home owner rents the property or the lot?
The owner of the mobile home is responsible for property taxes on the mobile home. The owner of the real property where the mobile home is situated is responsible for property taxes on the land. Payment of the property taxes on the land is ultimately the responsibility of the landowner.
Q. When is a mobile home taxed as a permanent structure?
A manufactured home may be classified as a permanent structure by the assessor when:
- The owner of a manufactured home has requested the mobile home to be taxed as real property;
- The tongue and axle have been removed from the manufactured home, and the manufactured home has been affixed to a permanent foundation as required by Regulation 184.108.40.206.D.1,2,3 Manufactured Homes – When Valued as Real Property
- The owner of the manufactured home holds title to the home and the real estate to which the manufactured home is affixed. Title must have been issued according to the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code and deactivated according to Regulation 220.127.116.11 NMAC The owner must provide evidence of the deactivation to the county assessor.
Q. What must I do if I wish to move my mobile home to another location?
Section 66-7-413 NMSA 1978 requires a permit from the Motor Vehicle Division before relocating the vehicle. Before a permit can be issued, however, the owner must obtain a certificate from the County Treasurer or Assessor of the county in which the manufactured home is located showing that either:
All property taxes due or to become due on the manufactured home for the current tax year or any past tax years have been paid, or
No liability for property taxes on the manufactured home exists for the current year or any past tax years.
You can find more information in Subsections F-G of
Section 66-7-413 NMSA 1978 of the Motor Vehicle Code.
Q. What must I do to change the name on the title or transfer the title on my mobile home?
When a title transfer or change of name on a title occurs, the Motor Vehicle Division issues the new title. As per
Section 66-3-110 NMSA 1978
, the Motor Vehicle Division issues a new title under the following guidelines:
The Motor Vehicle Division needs a properly endorsed certificate of title, current registration evidence, proper application for registration or transfer of registration, and the required fee.
The Motor Vehicle Division requires, in addition to conditions set out above, a certificate from the County Treasurer or Assessor of the county in which the manufactured home is located showing that either:
All property taxes due or to become due on the manufactured home for the current tax year or any past tax years have been paid, or
No liability for property taxes on the manufactured home exists for the current year or any past tax years.
Q. Why are County Treasurers selling mobile homes?
44. Why are County Treasurers selling mobile homes?
To collect delinquent taxes, the County Treasurer is authorized to seize a mobile home and sell it for taxes under authority of a demand warrant according to
Section 7-38-53 NMSA 1978
of the Property Tax Code.
Q. How many years of delinquent taxes must be owed before the county treasurer can sell a mobile home?
Once the property taxes on a mobile home has become 30 days delinquent, the county treasurer may seize a mobile home and sell it for taxes under authority of a demand warrant.
Q. What gives the County Treasurer's Office the authority to cross into private property to serve a demand warrant for the delinquent taxes when the property owner is not home?
Section 7-38-53 NMSA 1978 of the Property Tax Code, a county treasurer has authority to collect delinquent property taxes on a mobile home (a/k/a personal property) by asserting a claim against the owner's personal property for which taxes are delinquent. To properly assert a claim, the county treasurer or an employee of the treasurer’s office, or the county sheriff must serve and post the demand warrant on the mobile home.
Q. If I did not receive a tax bill, how do I know that I owe taxes on my mobile home?
The State of New Mexico is a self rendering state. According to
Section 7-38-47 NMSA 1978, property taxes are a personal obligation of the property owner. The owner is still responsible for finding out about the tax and paying it. A personal judgment may be rendered against the owner for delinquent property taxes and any penalty and interest on the delinquent taxes. The sale or transfer of property after its valuation date does not free the former owner of personal liability for the property taxes imposed for that tax year.
Q. What determines the amount of the minimum bid on a mobile home?
The minimum bid is based on the amount of taxes, penalty, interest and costs due. The owner’s interest in the mobile home is also taken into consideration.
Q. Where are the delinquent mobile home tax auctions held?
Delinquent mobile home tax auctions are held at the county seat (courthouse) or another place designated by the county treasurer's offices in counties where the properties are located.
Q. When does the county treasurer's office conduct delinquent mobile home tax sales?
50. When does the county treasurer's office conduct delinquent mobile home tax sales?
There is no set schedule for public auctions; public auctions occur as all research is completed and all other collection efforts are exhausted in each county. For information on when a sale may take place in a given county, please contact the specific county treasurer. <
Q. Where can I find copies of sales lists?
You can find copies of the sale lists through the county treasurer's office in each county.
Q. How can an interested purchaser bid on mobile homes offered at tax sales?
Auction registration for individuals who wish to bid on property is usually scheduled two hours before the start of the auction on the day of the auction. Registration closes promptly at the start of the sale. Bidding is on an oral basis and the property is awarded to the highest bidder. Bidders must be physically present or represented by an agent. The agent must present a notarized authorization document to the Property Tax Division upon registration.
Q. Does the county treasurer's office provide interested purchasers with title information (deeds, mortgage, liens etc.) before a tax sale of a mobile home?
The county treasurer's office does not furnish title information or maps. It is the prospective buyer’s responsibility to do all title research before the sale. All research should be done at the county offices and the Motor Vehicle Division. Property is sold to the highest bidder and is sold "as is." Neither the Property Tax Division nor the counties offer refunds. All sales are final.
Q. Is there a right of redemption for former owners of mobile homes?
The only redemption period that exists is a 120-day federal IRS redemption. IRS has up to 120 days after the auction to purchase the property from the successful auction purchaser to the amount purchased.
Q. What types of payment are accepted at public auction sales of mobile homes?
All payments at public auction must be in the form of a cashier's check, money order, personal check or company check. A letter of guarantee from the issuing bank must accompany personal and company checks. All letters of guarantee must state that the bank will guarantee payment up to a specific amount. The buyer must present the letter of credit at the time of registration. Personal or company checks will not be accepted without a proper letter. There will be reasonable time after the conclusion of the sale for parties to purchase cashier's checks or money orders for the amount of their bid(s).