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Rail Trail FAQs

Find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Rail Trail.

How can I get involved?

You can sign up for the Rail Trail listserv here. Also, check out our Community Engagement & Equitable Growth page to learn about ongoing and past community engagement opportunities.

I own a home near where the Rail Trail will be built and I’m worried that my property taxes might increase. What can I do to deal with rising costs?

Bernalillo County oversees the valuation of property and determines applicable annual mill rates, both of which impact your yearly property taxes. However, Bernalillo County limits property valuation increases to a maximum of 3% annually for single-family homes, townhomes, and other residential properties (like apartment complexes). This process is automatic. Property values can only be reassessed at market value after a sale or property transfer occurs. Even if market rates in your neighborhood rise, thanks to the 3% cap, your property taxes are likely to remain predicable from year-to-year.

For those on fixed or low incomes – such as people with certain disabilities, veterans, and seniors – there are special programs that can freeze or eliminate your property taxes. 

  • The Taxable Property Value Freeze Program offers eligible property owners the opportunity to prevent increases in their taxable property value. To qualify for the program, the property owner must have a modified gross income of $40,400 or less in the previous tax year and meet one of the following criteria: be 65 years of age or older, or be disabled. Once approved, the property value freeze remains in effect indefinitely after successfully completing the application process for three consecutive years. This program provides long-term stability and financial relief for eligible homeowners, ensuring that their property taxes remain consistent over time.
  • Veterans Tax Exemption or 100% Disabled Veteran Tax Waiver Exemption. This Exemption offers a $4,000 reduction in taxable value of property if a veteran who is not disabled or is less than 100% disabled. If the owner-occupant is 100% disabled, the program can result in the total waiver of property taxes.

For more information on tax freeze programs, visit Bernalillo County’s website.

How much does the trail cost per mile?

Costs for the trail vary by section, and are impacted by right of way constraints. See the “Funding” page for more details. Overall, the total cost for the entire 7-mile loop is estimated to range from $70M - $90M.

How will you keep the Rail Trail safe?

A robust plan for safety and security has been integrated during all aspects of the planning process. The Rail Trail will have the most safety features of any trail in New Mexico. Plans for safety include emergency call boxes; video cameras connected to the Real Time Crime Center; frequent lighting; bike patrol cops and park rangers; and innovative measures to ensure pedestrian and cyclist safety at railroad and street crossings.

What about the possibility of encampments along the trail?

Issues with encampments in public areas often arise due to specific rules around parks and the 72-hour notice that is required before removal can be enforced. However, the Rail Trail is a trail, not a park. This makes it public right of way. Blocking public right of way is illegal, and those who block the right of way can be removed without any notice required. The Rail Trail will be patrolled frequently, and any blockage of public right of way can be enforced immediately.

What is the City doing to ensure equitable development along the trail?

The City is committed to ensuring that those living in neighborhoods surrounding the Rail Trail can benefit from access to the trail and the economic opportunity it will bring. The Rail Trail is a social equity infrastructure project that can:

  • Increase green space in our historic communities
  • Expand economic opportunities for workers and businesses
  • Add five miles of safe pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure for both commuters and families
  • Uplift the cultural heritage of historic neighborhoods
  • Grow public space acreage for community-based programming
  • Activate and develop vacant lots and buildings

Please visit the Community Engagement & Inclusive Growth page for more information on the City’s approach to equitable development.