Town of Taos Community Profile
The bounded 5.4 square miles of the incorporated town of Taos spreads out beneath the shadows of Pueblo Peak rising 12,305 feet above, and is bounded roughly by the Rio Lucero river on the north and the Rio Grande de Ranchos river on the south. At 7,000 feet above sea level, Taos experiences seasonal winter lows in the single digits and summer highs in the mid-80s to low-90s.
Taos Pueblo natives inhabited the sage brush/piñon pine/juniper mountain front for centuries before the Spanish explorers arrived around 1600. Soon thereafter, Spanish settlers returned, armed with land grant decrees from the King of Spain. The central Taos plaza became the hub of daily activity and the site of unrest and conflict – often ending in bloody battles between the Spanish, natives, and late-arriving Americans. Long isolated from the outside world, Taos began to grow in the 1960s with an insurgence of hippies in and around Taos and in nearby communes, and Taos continues to this day to attract free-spirited ski bums and rafters, as well as older retirees.
Commercial ventures and shops surround the Plaza area and along north and south ends of Paseo del Pueblo, the main thoroughfare. A popular home for southwest inspired artists, Taos boasts dozens of galleries, boutiques, and craft shops. Taos and the surrounding communities play host to renowned studio tours and art and crafts festivals throughout the year. Dozens of restaurants and eateries serve a wide variety of cuisine, with the northern New Mexico chili-sauce dishes being widely renowned.
Just south of town in Ranchos de Taos sits the historic San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, reputed to be the most-photographed church in America. The Catholic influence can also be seen in the numerous historical cemeteries, roadside descansos, and neighborhood churches called capillas and moradas. The locals speak a patois of Castilian Spanish and English. As the county seat, Taos houses the county government offices and district courts. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have a strong presence in town. On the outskirts of town, there are numerous pastures, fields, and gardens irrigated by ancestral acequias, extending out from the local rivers and streams.
Town of Taos Population
Estimated Town of Taos 2016: 5,763
Source: U.S. Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/)
Town of Taos Taxes
Gross Receipts Tax (Jul-Dec 2018): 8.5000 percent on goods and services
Source: NM Taxation & Revenue
Residential Property Tax Rate (2018): 17.893 mills
Source: N.M. Finance & Administration (http://nmdfa.state.nm.us/Certificate_of_Property_Tax.aspx)
Town of Taos Schools
Taos Municipal School District: Ranchos Elementary, Enos Garcia Elementary, Arroyos del Norte Elementary, Taos Middle School, Taos High School, Chrysalis Alternative School, Taos Charter School, Anansi Charter School, Taos Cyber Magnet, Vista Grande High School; Taos Integrated School for the Arts, Taos Academy Charter School, Taos Waldorf School; Taos International School; University of New Mexico – Taos, University of New Mexico Bachelor & Graduate Programs
Town of Taos Public Recreation Facilities
General: Taos Youth and Family Center, http://taosyouth.com, (575) 758-4160, with game room, video games, swimming pool, ice ring; Fred Baca Park, Kit Carson Park.
Carson National Forest, 208 Cruz Alta Road, Taos, NM 87571, (575) 758-6200, https://www.fs.usda.gov/carson; Bureau of Land Management, Taos Field Office, (575) 758-8851; Ute Mountain, and Rio Grande de Norte National Monument; popular trails include Devisadero Loop, South Boundary Trail, Rim Trail
Athletics: Taos Eco-Park (soccer, lacrosse)
Town of Taos Form of Government
Mayor and four-member town council, staggered four-year terms; town manager; http://taosgov.com.
Town of Taos Public Transportation
Town of Taos Health Services
Holy Cross Hospital, (575) 758-8883, https://taoshospital.org;
Taos Urgent Care, (575) 751-1006;
Taos VA Clinic, (575) 751-0328;
Women’s Health Institute, (575) 758-5001
Town of Taos Driving Distances
Taos Ski Valley: 19-miles (32 min)
Angel Fire: 24-miles (42 min)
Red River: 37-miles (48 min)
Santa Fe: 70-miles (1 hr 26 min)
Albuquerque: 133-miles (2 hr 18 min)
Denver: 289-miles (4 hr 30 min)
Oklahoma City: 523-miles (8 hr 32 min)
Phoenix: 548-miles (8 hr 32 min)
Dallas: 677-miles (10 hr 22 min)
Houston: 911-miles (13 hr 39 min)