New Mexico County's computer problem

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County's computer problem isn't new, letters show

The technical difficulties Bernalillo County is having with property tax distribution doesn't come as a shock to the agencies the problem affects.

Correspondence obtained by The Tribune between the county and the entities for which it collects taxes shows the county knew of the problem in October 2000.

County Manager Juan Vigil wrote to the city at that time, alerting it to "unexpected delays" in doling out the 1999 tax revenues because of problems with the "Y2K compliant" system it was installing.

At the time, Vigil estimated the city had received 96 percent of revenue due from 99 taxes. "Every effort is being made to process and distribute property taxes accurately and timely," he wrote. That letter touched off a flurry of paperwork -- and a dispute over how much is owed to whom.

In March, leaders of the University of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute, Albuquerque Public Schools and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Flood Control Association wrote to the county to contest the amount each entity was due.

Also at issue in the March letter were county's estimates for fiscal year 2000 revenues. The agencies said in the letter they were told the revenues would be the same as they were in 1999. Leaders of those organizations disagreed, saying that since property valuations had gone up, revenues, too must have increased. County Treasurer Alex Abeyta Jr. responded to that letter and invited the officials to look over the county's records. Abeyta said Monday his staff is working on the problem and has met daily to look into solutions.

"This has gone on for 17 months," he said. "I've only been the treasurer for four months."

http://www.abqtrib.com/news/042401_taxside.shtml

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 25, 2001

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-- spider (spider0@usa.net), April 25, 2001.

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