Las Cruces – A Las Cruces couple is suing Dona Ana County over it's plan to steeply increase the property taxes on their home.
William and Martha Beerman filed the lawsuit Wednesday in state district court seeking to invalidate the higher taxes.
The controversy centers on a phenomenon known as "tax lightning." A 2001 state law says most people are subject to a 3 percent limit on how much their property values can climb each year for tax purposes. But the cap doesn't apply if the home changes ownership.
Two recent Bernalillo County court rulings called reassessments for newly purchased homes illegal, but they are on appeal and don't apply outside that county.
The Las Cruces Sun-News says Beerman will pay nearly $600 above what his neighbors pay.
Incoming County Assessor Andy Segovia says his department is following the law as it exists.
Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.