LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

The Las Cruces City Council is proposing an increase in the gross receipts tax, but the decision won't be left up to voters.

Just a few weeks ago, voters in Dona Ana County rejected an increase in the gross receipts tax. Voters in Las Cruces won't be given the same option. 

On Monday, attorneys working for the city revealed state law will not allow the proposed tax raise to go before voters.

Some Las Crucens are upset about this.

"We're taxed so much I do feel we need to have a vote on it. That's a lot of power to give them," said Las Crucen Rena Mares.

Others don't see a problem.

"I think one of the duties of a council is to make decisions like this. Not everything can be settled on a referendum basis so we elect them, they make decisions," said Richard Magee, another Las Crucen.

The City Council is proposing a raise of three-eighths of 1 percent. That's about 4 cents extra for every $10 you spend.

The council said the extra money is necessary to make up for a major loss in state funding

"It's an important issue. It's something that's been cast upon us to act in a quick manner. We're trying to do the prudent and responsible thing," said Las Cruces mayor Ken Miyagishima.

This year the state legislature decided to phase out hold harmless money. Miyagihsima said that means an $8 million loss for the city's yearly operations budget.

Without something to make up that loss, Miyagishima told ABC-7 it could mean cutting back on services.

"We've increased the population the last five years by more than 10,000 people, and the services have remained the same. There's very little additional cutting we can do. It would have to be substantial cuts," Miyagishima said.

Las Crucens had mixed reactions about the proposal.

"It's terrible that were losing that, but I don't know how with the economy the way it is I just don't see how they could keep taxing us," Mares said.

"They're doing that to recoup lost funds so I support it," said Magee.

The City Council has been holding public meetings throughout the city to gather public input.

"This is the taxpayers' money, and we'd like for them to be able to weigh in on this issue. That's why we've been having these district meetings throughout the city. We're treating it as though it is an election even though its not one the state would allow," Miyagishima said.

The mayor said the tax hike could be voted on by the council as soon as Sept. 3.