Officials in Corrales, a village just north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, surprised real estate agents this week when they hung black plastic bags over 35 “For Sale” signs in an effort to finally enforce a local ordinance, an article in the Albuquerque Journal said.

The article explained that in 2009 the town passed an ordinance which charges real estate agents a $35 fee for every sign. The ordinance was later updated in an effort to ensure Corrales receives gross-receipts taxes due on real estate commission fees.

“The thinking was that the Village was losing thousands of dollars in gross receipts taxes due on commissions that are being paid to places like Albuquerque and Rio Rancho because that’s where the Realtors’ offices are located,” Mayor Scott Kominiak said.

However, Kominiak did note in the article that he tried to have the ordinance repealed in April, because he feared it would discourage real estate agents from being active in Corrales. But no one from the real estate community attended the council meeting where it was discussed, and councilors did not support the repeal.

Real estate agents were not happy with the news.

“Wouldn’t it have been a nice courtesy if they had emailed Realtors to warn them instead of doing this?” said Robin Riegor, an agent with Coldwell Banker who lives in Corrales and has 21 listings in the village.