CLOVIS, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — During the Nov. 2 election, residents of the city of Clovis will have the choice on whether or not the city can use its funds from gross receipts taxes to provide funding to both new and existing retail establishments.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, an item surrounding this election measure will appear on the Nov. 2 Curry County Regular Local Election ballot, coming after the New Mexico State Legislature adopted Senate Bill 49, a measure which changes the Local Economic Development Act, earlier this year.
Previously, the act has allowed cities with a population of more than 35,000 to use those funds to provide industries with funding. If passed by Clovis residents, the bill would allow funding for both new and existing retail establishments. The following question will appear on the ballot:
Shall the City of Clovis allow retail businesses to constitute a qualifying entity for purposes of furthering or implementing economic development plans and providing public support for projects as defined in the Local Economic Development Act?
Mike Morris, the mayor of the city of Clovis, said it would benefit the city to have another use of those dedicated economic development funds, especially because of where Clovis itself is located.
“What we’ve seen as a rule, (as) an Eastern New Mexico town close to the border, with Lubbock, Texas, and Amarillo, Texas being a short drive away, what we’ve seen is our retail sector has suffered to an extent,” Morris said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to have a new tool with which to do something about that and possibly, you know, fill the gaps in our retail offering, which would enhance quality of life for our citizens. It’s also going to keep more money in Clovis.”
Morris said if this measure is passed, the city’s plan is to create a post-performance grant which would offset an establishment’s investment in land building and infrastructure. The amount a particular establishment would qualify for would be based on the number of jobs the establishment would create.
The establishment of the grants would help new businesses come to Clovis, Morris said, with the city being able to offer the businesses incentive grants if they come to the city. But it would also help those existing businesses looking to expand.
“Local businesses are, by and large, very excited about this opportunity because the incentives would apply for existing businesses, existing retail establishments that wish to do an expansion and add jobs,” he said. “They would qualify. They could apply for the incentive. It’s a way to support existing businesses that are looking to do more and offer more locally.”
Morris said he has been trying to get the word out to various groups throughout the city about the importance of the measure and why they should participate in the election.
“It may be that the ballot isn’t as exciting as some of the others, but it’s always important that the citizens are exercising their right to vote and letting their voice be heard,” Morris said. “This is a big opportunity for the voters in Clovis. This is a chance to be a part of something really big and a shift in what our retail sector is going to look like, what our retail offering is going to look like. It’s going to have an impact on the health and growth of our local economy in the years to come.”
Early voting in this election will last through Oct. 30, occurring at the following locations:
- Curry County Administrative Complex, located at 417 Gidding St. from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
- North Plains Mall Police Substation, located at 2809 N Prince St. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday.
On Nov. 2, eligible Curry County voters will be able to vote at any of the Election Day locations listed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:
- Colonial Golf Course, 1300 Colonial Parkway;
- Youth Recreation Building, 1504 E 7th St.;
- Roy Walker Community Center, 316 W 2nd St.;
- Farmers Electric Cooperative, 3701 N Thornton St.;
- Curry County Road Department (Road Barn), 1006 CR 6;
- Pleasant Hill Fire Department, 304 SR 77, Texico, NM
- Grady Senior Citizens Center, 104 W Main, Grady, NM
- Melrose City Hall, 105 E Ave. B, Melrose, NM
- Texico Community Building, 215 N Griffin, Texico, NM