Carrizozo’s economy mirrors the regional economy in its dependence on local-serving government-related jobs. Carrizozo has less accommodation, food service and retail services than neighboring towns, including Ruidoso which is primarily a tourist-based economy. At the crossroads of two major highways, Carrizozo caters to automobile traffic passing through to other destinations, art-lovers and residents having business at the county courthouse, including jurors.
According to the 2016 Metropolitan Redevelopment Plan (MRP), there were 21 businesses, primarily in the downtown area, out of 48 storefronts. One business, the grocery store, has been out of business and is identified by residents as an asset that is sorely missed. Currently, the nearest grocery store is in Capitan, approximately 20 miles away.
In a survey conducted while compiling the Town of Carrizozo Comprehensive Plan of 2008, Architectural Research Consultants, Inc. found that 87% of residents either agreed or strongly agreed that the town needed to attract more industries to the area. Of the type of industry, 93% agreed or strongly agreed that the town needed to attract more retail businesses.
190 people work in Carrizozo. The largest industries are the schools (47 people), health care and social assistance (31 people) and other services and public administration (23 people). The highest paying industries are health care and social assistance ($21,477), arts, entertainment and recreation and accommodations and food services ($19,219).
Between 10% and 25% of residents live and work in town.
From 2017 to 2018, employment in Carrizozo declined at a rate of -13.2%, from 219 employees to 190 employees.
Highest Paying Jobs
The highest paying industries in Carrizozo in 2018 by median earnings, are health care and social assistance ($21,477), arts, entertainment and recreation and accommodations and food services ($19,219).
Most Common Jobs
The most common industries in Carrizozo in 2018 by number of employees, are schools (47 people), health care and social assistance (31 people) and other services and public administration (23 people).
Data from the Census Bureau ACS 5-year Estimate.
Gross Receipts Tax
The current gross receipts tax for Carrizozo is 7.0%. It is expected to increase.
According to the MRP, business activity increased every year since 2008. The businesses totaling the greatest gross receipts tax have been retail, construction, utilities, food service and accommodations.
Carrizozo collects relatively little lodger’s tax compared to neighboring communities. There are 4 hotels and very few nightly rental properties. Tax receipts from 2000 to 2013 totaled $300,000 which translates into roughly 7,500 overnight visitors. Ruidoso, a little over 30 miles away, collected over $1 million in lodger’s tax from over 250,000 visitors. This statistic may reflect the popularity of Ruidoso as a tourist-based resort versus Carrizozo, which handles more through traffic with fewer available motel rooms.
Data from Carrizozo MRP by Sites Southwest, 2016.