County Assessor Gives Christmas Present to Homeless Shelter
Mon, 13 Dec 1999 13:41:47 EST                   
Date:   Saturday December 11 1999   
Contact: Jeremy Reynalds              
Tel: (505) 877-6967, or (505) 991-2451

        Bernalillo County Assessor 
    Socks Joy Junction 
    with $14,000 Property Tax Assessment
    "This puts us in a precarious position," 
    shelter director says.
    Albuquerque, N.M. When Joy Junction, a non-profit tax-exempt ministry 
which feeds and shelters thousands of Albuquerque's homeless women and 
families,  acquired 52 acres of property, shelter officials assumed that the 
newly acquired property would be exempt from property taxes. After all, there 
was not going to be a change in use of the property and it was Joy Junction's 
understanding that the previous owners had never paid property taxes on the 

    However, that was not the case. The County Assessor billed the shelter 
$28,000 for property taxes -- $14,000 of which was due by 5 p.m Friday. To 
avert the possibility of interest and fees, Joy Junction was forced to take 
out a $14,000 bank loan.

    "This really puts us in a precarious position," said Joy Junction 
Executive Director Jeremy Reynalds. "All we've done with this loan is to put 
a band aid on the problem. It's money that still has to be paid back and with 
possible donor concern about the possible effects of Y2K,  who knows what 
will happen?"

    Although Joy Junction never filed the required paperwork asking for an 
exemption, (not knowing such a request was necessary) the current problem 
could have been averted if the county assessor's office had sent an 
assessment notice to Joy Junction back in June. Instead, that assessment 
notice, which would have alerted Joy Junction to a problem and given the 
shelter time to appeal, was sent to the property's previous owners.

    Joy Junction Executive Director Jeremy Reynalds said, "All of the staff 
at Joy Junction are very busy doing our own jobs. Can we reasonably be 
expected to take care of the county's responsibilities as well?"  

    If Joy Junction had failed  to pay the assessor's bill, the shelter would 
have lost the opportunity to appeal the property tax evaluation.

    Reynalds said he is asking concerned community members for any help 

    For additional information, please call Jeremy Reynalds at (505) 991-2451 
 or (505) 877-6967.