County officials sleuth tax snafu

By Hank Lohmeyer


The Board of County Commissioners was generous in its thanks to two county elected officials who unraveled and tracked down a property tax snafu that netted county taxing entities $41,000 they had been owed.

County assessor Debbie Griffith and county treasurer Lisa Tafoya, along with deputy assessor Cindy Altenbern worked through volumes of data from 2013 and 2014, toured locations where taxable real property was located, and spent at least 40 hours over two and half years to finally solve the various mysteries involved.

The results of their work brought what Griffith called "significant tax dollars for the county" when she and Tafoya reported results of the work to the BoCC on Sept. 8.

For the 2013 tax year, results of the work brought a $111,000 benefit to county tax rolls. For the following year, the county had to approve $70,000 in tax abatements or refunds involved with researching and determining the actual tax status of some energy exploration and production equipment located and used here.

Overall, the work netted $41,000 additional tax dollars for various taxing entities including the county government and school district, Griffith explained.