The Torrance County Clerk, Treasurer, Assessor, and Administrative Offices will re-open to public May 4, said a press release by the county.

“Given the few number of COVID-19 cases in Torrance County and the lack of community spread, we believe that we can re-open our administrative building, and do so safely,” said County Manager Wayne Johnson.

“We have property tax collection, valuation protests, and early voting all beginning in May,” Commission Chair Ryan Schwebach said. “The County Administrative Building in Estancia, simply cannot remain completely closed to the public during this critical time,” he said.

Despite the public health orders, property taxes remain due by May 10. Since the 10th is a Sunday, taxpayers will be able to pay or have their payments postmarked by May 11.

For everyone’s safety the Treasurer’s office is encouraging taxpayers to pay by mail. They may also pay online by going to the County website, torrancecountynm.org. Online payments are subject to a service fee that cannot be waived. For questions call the Treasurer’s office at 505-544-4800.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the beginning of the tax protest period was pushed back from April 1 to May 1. Those who wish to protest their property tax valuation may file a protest by May 30.

Protest forms are available online on the Assessor’s page of the County website. Residents are encouraged to download the form and return it via email to [email protected] or mail them to P.O. Box 258, Estancia, NM 87016. For more information call the Torrance County Assessor’s office at 505-544-4300.

Early in-person voting begins May 5.

Torrance County registered voters may cast their ballots for the primary election in person at the Clerk’s early voting site located in the Torrance County Administrative Building at 205 S. Ninth Street, in Estancia.

The entrance to the Early Voting Site will be located in the back of the building. Parking will be available. Voters are encouraged to request an absentee ballot and may do by calling 505-544-4350 or online at nmvote.org.

The County will require the public to observe the six foot social distancing rule for any in-person visits to County facilities, and they may be asked to wait in the hall or outside the building if too many people are present.

Residents are encouraged to use one of the online or mail options to access County services. Animal Services remains closed to the public.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]