SANTA FE—Late last night, the Legislature approved two identical bills developed to give the state and local governments more flexibility to dispose of delinquent tax property. The bills, HB 88 and SB 109,  are sponsored by Reps. Alonzo Baldonado (R-Los Lunas), Kelly Fajardo (R-Los Lunas), and Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena), and Sen. Greg Baca (R-Belen). 


There are 116,155 delinquent properties in New Mexico, and 46% are located in Valencia County. Many of these properties in Valencia County are too small to be developed, and they are worth less than the tax penalties and assessments placed on them.  


HB 88 and SB 109 create an online marketplace for the sale of delinquent and abandoned properties. They provide the NM Tax and Revenue Department with the flexibility to lower tax penalties and interest on properties if it will make them more attractive to potential buyers. The bills also give New Mexico land grants the right of first offer on abandoned properties located within the boundaries of the land grant.  


The bills were originally developed to address delinquent and abandoned properties within Valencia County, but legislators expanded the scope of the bills after learning other New Mexico counties had a similar need for an online marketplace.  


“Abandoned properties place a huge administrative burden on county governments and limit a community’s ability to plan for growth and development. By creating a marketplace for these properties, the state can free up this land for beneficial and productive use, said the legislators in a joint statement.  


They added, “These bills were a collaborative effort between the four of us to address a major issue in Valencia County. In two years, we have been able come together and fix a problem that’s been vexing the county for decades. This achievement shows the progress that can be made when legislators work cooperatively to develop legislative solutions.”  


The two measures will now go to Governor Susana Martinez for action.