Saving on Property Taxes

Posted by Elle Seybold on Monday, October 29th, 2018 at 5:04pm.

Many of us are familiar with Homestead Exemptions for property taxes.  In New Mexico, we have a Head of Family Exemption, a Value Freeze (for seniors or for disabled individuals), and a Veterans Exemption.


The Head of Family Exemption is a $2,000 reduction of the taxable value of residential property subject to the tax if the property is owned by the head of a family who is a New Mexico resident.  The exemption is deducted from taxable value of property to determine net taxable value of property.  In Santa Fe County, this will result in a property tax savings between $32 and $49 per year. A head of a family is entitled to the exemption in only one county in any tax year even though the claimant may own property in more than one county.  Once this exemption has been approved and applied, the property owner will not have to reapply for consecutive years unless ownership of property has changed.  Eligibility depends upon whether you are a New Mexico resident who is either: married (but only one spouse in a household may qualify), a widow(er), a head of household furnishing more than one-half the cost of support of any related person, single (but only one person in a household may qualify), or a member of a condominium association. 


The Valuation Freeze prevents your property tax valuation from increasing each year on your place of residence which minimizes future property tax increases.  You are eligible for the freeze if you are 65 years or older or if you are disabled (at any age).  Both require you had a gross household income of $32,000 or less in the year prior to making application.  You must provide proof of your gross income, proof can include federal income tax or state income tax returns.  You must continue to apply and qualify each year to receive the valuation freeze, although, if you’ve claimed and been allowed the “freeze” for three consecutive years you do not need to apply for subsequent tax years as long as there is no change in eligibility. 


The Veterans Exemption is a $4,000 reduction in your taxable value.  The Disabled Veteran’s exemption is a 100% exemption from property tax on the Veteran’s primary residence up to 5 acres of land.  Both may be claimed by any honorably discharged Veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse of the Veteran.  Eligibility is determined by the New Mexico Department of Veteran’s Services which will issue a Certificate of Eligibility.  Once you receive the certificate, you must present it along with the completed form to the Assessor’s office in person to apply for the exemption. Once the exemption is claimed and allowed, it shall apply to subsequent years as long as there is no change in ownership status.  Call the Department of Veteran Services at 866-433-8387 or locally at 505-827-6300 with eligibility questions.


You must submit the required application to the office of the Assessor no later than 30 days after the mailing of the Assessor’s official “Notice of Value.”  The “Notice” is typically mailed out on or around April 1 of each year.  


Keep in mind, you may be eligible for more than one exemption.


More information and to apply for exemptions can be found here:

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