CARLSBAD, N.M. — Voters in a southeastern New Mexico county have rejected two sales tax hikes that would have increased funding for county general purposes and for its detention center.

The residents of Eddy County overwhelmingly voted down the separate gross receipts taxes that were less than a percentage point in a special election on Tuesday.

County commissioners approved ordinances to install three sales tax increases in May. Residents then gathered enough petition signatures to put two of three sales tax hikes to a public vote.

County officials say they are disappointed by the results and staffing issues at the detention center persist. 15 staff positions were previously frozen due to funding issues.

Detention center officials say they are working with the county on finding an alternative funding solution.