In an unexpected and drastic move, the city of Sunland Park has doubled its property tax rate.
This is in the wake of public corruption indictments, and now, a nearly $2 million budget shortfall.
If a home's assessed value is $80,000, that resident currently pays about $302 dollars in annual city taxes. With the approved hike, that resident will now pay $612 dollars.
That does not include what residents pay in state, school and county taxes. And the tax hike won't even go toward services.
Sunland Park, facing such a deficit, is even considering shutting down its only library.
"In the general fund, we don't have money. It's zero," said Isabel Santos, the Mayor Pro Tem. She, along with three other council members voted for the hike. "We don't want to cut services, we don't want to affect our community, but we don't have another choice. Because we do what the state recommends... we need to balance the budget."
Santos said last fiscal year the city ended with a $3,000 budget shortfall and calls the $1 million deficit "ridiculous."
Taylor Moore has similar thoughts. The library volunteer said the city should have looked for more commonsense ways to cut costs.
"I don't know what's going on with those people. What they're doing stinks. What they should have done, was ask the department heads how they can tighten their belt to deal with the emergency," Moore said.
Sunland Park has been smeared with controversy in recent months. Their former Mayor Pro Tem, Daniel Salinas, sits in a county jail, awaiting trial for allegedly defrauding taxpayers and using public funds to party with prostitutes in Mexico.
He's also accused of extorting a mayoral candidate rival with a video of that man with a topless woman.
Despite the controversy Salinas was elected as mayor but the terms of his bonded release forbid him from governing or walking into city-owned property.
The state's Department of Finance is now overseeing Sunland Park's money dealings as well as its council.
"It's not fair that our community pays for the mistakes of others. Because this is a poor community, and we, the governing body, we are here to protect them," said Santos.
When asked about how Sunland Park can be more transparent, Gov. Susana Martinez said the city should post their budgets online with specific spending and line items.
She said it was not fair to taxpayers who have to reach deeper into their pocket books because of city mismanagement.