Lt. Gov. Sanchez addresses concerns of local residents

Gross receipt taxes are a big concern across New Mexico, according to Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and his staff.

Scott and Jane Christensen, owners of HomeSpot in Portales, expressed to Sanchez on Tuesday night at Portales City Hall their concerns about gross receipt taxes on houses and properties, which they manufacture, buy and sell.

Christensen said New Mexico's tax rate is higher than in other states and more inspections are required.

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

Scott and Jane Christensen, owners of the HomeSpot real estate company in Portales, discuss gross receipt tax issues with New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez on Tuesday night at Portales City Hall. Sanchez spent the day traveling across New Mexico to hear the concerns of residents in Clovis, Portales, Hobbs and Santa Rosa.

Sanchez, who spent the day traveling in eastern New Mexico to hear the concerns of local residents, business leaders and city and county officials, said gross receipt tax issues were brought up three to four times during his "mobile" office hours.

Sanchez began his journey Tuesday morning with a visit to Santa Fe and ended it with a visit to Hobbs.

Sanchez also stopped in Clovis, where he met with Clovis Mayor David Lansford.

"They're concerns, of course, are water issues," Sanchez said of Clovis officials, adding that water is a concern for many in eastern New Mexico. "Agricultural issues are very important (in the local area) and people in Clovis are concerned about the Sunland issue as well and want to see that resolved also."

Lansford said road issues were also discussed along during his visit with Sanchez.

"We talked about road construction projects that are important to our area and water supply issues in our area and what role county and state governments play in that issue," Lansford said. "He indicated that he was very supportive of seeing that we have adequate roads and he pledged his efforts to help with the water supply issue in any way he could."

"I was very pleased that he took the time to come to eastern New Mexico and listen to our concerns about what state government is planning to do in the future," he added.

No city officials were present for the Portales visit.

Sanchez said he will visit the Artesia, Roswell and Carlsbad communities today to hear more concerns.

He said he has visited 20 towns and cities across the state this year during "mobile office days."

"It's the most effective way for a state official to meet people and learn concerns," Sanchez said. "It's all about building those working relationships. The governor and I do not plan to stay in Santa Fe. We want to go out to the people and get to know them."

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