Clovis officials seek redevelopment tax

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Local officials want the state to authorize a special redevelopment tax, but city commissioners would have to approve it before it could be enacted, according to a local economic development official.

The potential tax is part of a five-pronged package the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce and Clovis Industrial Development Corp. will pitch to the New Mexico Legislature next week, said CIDC Executive Director Chase Gentry.

“If in the future, there was a need, the city commission could ask for a vote. By the majority of the vote, a community tax could be enacted,” Gentry said.

City economic development officials could absorb a quarter percent of area gross receipts taxes and shoot the money, an estimated $1.5 million a year, into economic development projects should the tax become a reality, Gentry said.

“We want to begin aggressively recruiting new industries,” Gentry said.

A spotlight shone on Clovis’ economic weaknesses in May when Cannon Air Force Base was targeted for closure, Gentry said. One-third of the region’s existing workforce is either military or military dependent, according to a Clovis Industrial Development press release, and so diversifying the region’s economy is of utmost importance, he said.

“We will actively engage Governor Bill Richardson, the State Economic Development Department, and the New Mexico Legislature for support of the Clovis Economic Diversification Package,” President of the CIDC Board of Directors Lee Malloy said in the release.

Also in the package:

• Capital outlay for economic development
• Water supply projects
• New Mexico highway infrastructure
• Special redevelopment incentives