MESILLA, N.M. -- The Town of Mesilla is considering raising the mill levy rate in a town meeting Monday night which could be the first-ever property tax hike since Mesilla was first incorporated in 1959.
The mill levy is the assessed property tax rate used by local governments to raise revenue to cover annual expenses.
The proposed hike comes after voters turned down a $1.5 million bond last March. The bond would have paid for infrastructure improvements, a new fire truck and repairs to the public safety building that currently has several building code violations.
"We cannot continue in this trend that we're in and still provide services to our residents," said Mesilla Mayor Nora Barraza. "We have to take action now, we're not going to wait until we're flat on our faces."
The mill levy increase would not require voter approval, just a majority vote from the five board of trustees.
State law requires money from mill levy increases to only be used for operational costs such as paying employees.
The town said they would re-work the budget for the next fiscal year and free up money from other sources to pay for improvements.