Boundaries for the Eldorado Area Water & Sanitation District were originally set by the State of New Mexico in 2004. These boundaries have impact on such activities as water service, rates and billing, property taxes, and elections and voting. The boundary map (as of 2010) shows the areas inside of the District (blue-shaded area) and the area within the EAWSD service area but outside of the District itself (red-shaded area).
[Because of the scale of this map, it is best to consult the Billing & Customer Service office of the District General Manager to confirm the status of any property close to a boundary line.]
EAWSD is obliged to provide water service to owners and residents of property within the District boundaries (blue-shaded areas) if water is available
Owners of property within the EAWSD Service Area, but outside the District boundaries (red-shaded areas) may apply for water service as an out-of-District customer or may petition for inclusion in the District. However, EAWSD has no obligation to provide water service outside its District boundaries (blue shaded area). For more information, please see the section below.
The Santa Fe County Growth Management Department is responsible for approving new developments in the County as well as lot splits and building permits. Prior to approving development proposals in the EAWSD water service area, the County may require EAWSD to provide a “will-serve” letter, stating that it is “ready, willing and able” to provide water service to the development or lot. There are certain developments for which EAWSD is required to provide water under binding agreements “inherited” from El Dorado Utilities, Inc., the private company from which EAWSD acquired the water system. For other new developments within the EAWSD service area seeking County approval, the EAWSD General Manager or Board of Directors must approve applications for water service.
Owners of real property within the District boundaries (blue-shaded areas) pay an ad valorem tax to the District. These funds are used for repairs and improvements to infrastructure in the District.
An ad valorem tax is based on the assessed value of an item such as real estate or personal property.
This tax is included in the bill from the Santa Fe County Tax Assessor, along with County-wide and school district taxes. The tax levy is set annually: the EAWSD Board makes its decision on District requirements, submits this as a resolution to the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), and then receives a final decision from DFA on the annual tax levy. The funds received by the District each year are determined (1) by the mil rate set by DFA, and (2) by the assessed property values established by the Santa Fe County Assessor.
Owners of property outside the District boundaries (red-shaded or unshaded areas) may be subject to County and School District taxes, but they pay no property taxes to Eldorado Area Water & Sanitation District.
Rates and other charges
Customers whose properties lie outside the District (red-shaded areas) pay a higher “Out of District” monthly base fee in lieu of property taxes. These rates and fees are outlined in the current EAWSD Rate Schedule.
Inclusion of property in the District
Property owners whose property is outside the District may petition the EAWSD Board of Directors for inclusion of their property into the District. That process is established under Article IX of the EAWSD Bylaws. It requires that petitioners reimburse the District for the District’s costs incurred in processing the petition before the Board renders a decision whether to grant the petition. Those costs may include District legal services required to prepare documents associated with processing and filing the petition, costs to advertise a public hearing on the petition, and costs associated with holding the public hearing.
If you would like more information or to petition for inclusion of property into the District, contact the EAWSD Administrative Office at 505-466-2411.
Qualifications for voting and Board office
The District boundaries are critical in determining who is a qualified elector.
1) Are you a resident of the District (i.e., is your personal permanent residence within the District boundaries (blue-shaded areas)?
Or if not,
2) Are you liable for paying rates, tolls or charges to EAWSD (do you personally get a bill from EAWSD)? Only individuals whose names are on the account may vote.
3) Do you pay or are you personally liable for property taxes to the District (Do you own property within the District boundaries, the blue-shaded areas)? Only individuals whose names are on the property deed may vote.
From the New Mexico Water & Sanitation District Act:
G. "taxpaying elector of a District", "Qualified Elector" or "elector" means a person who is registered to vote in any precinct in the state and who:
(1) is a resident of the district
(2) is a nonresident of the district who pays, or will be liable for paying, rates, tolls or charges set by the board; or
(3) is a nonresident of the district who either has paid or incurred a general tax liability on real property within the district in the twelve months immediately preceding a designated time or event or who is purchasing real property within the district under a real estate contract where a property tax has been paid or incurred on the real property in the twelve months immediately preceding a designated time or event;