Judge allows Incline Village tax suit to go forward

Although a class action lawsuit filed by the Village League to Save Incline Assets was dismissed earlier this month, 18 local property owners who filed a similar suit received a victory last week when Washoe County District Judge William Maddox denied a motion to dismiss by the state and county.

"Unlike the other (class action) lawsuit, we did go through the correct process in challenging the assessments, and the county and state still tried to dismiss it," said Les Barta, one of the 18 residents who filed suit challenging property tax assessments. "The judge is allowing the case to move forward on one key issue - whether the county assessor followed the regulations in his tax assessments."

If the judge rules that the assessor did not follow correct procedures, Barta explained, all properties in Incline Village and Crystal Bay will have to be reappraised.

"If we win this case it will be a huge victory because it will set the precedence for all of Incline Village," Barta said.

"If the decision is favorable for the 18 us, all of Incline Village and Crystal Bay will win, and the assessor will have to follow the law from now on," he said.

In other tax revolt news:

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments by Village League Attorney Suellen Fulstone and by attorneys representing the state and county Tuesday, June 22 at the Carson City Court House.

The entire Supreme Court will hear the appeal of a ruling made last February by Judge Elliot.

Elliot's order was that any administrative action taken by the Washoe County Board of Equalization regarding property taxes was that any administrative action taken by the Washoe County BOE regarding property taxes was against the property, not the person, therefore the hearings did not have to be noticed by 21-day certified mail.

On Friday, June 25 at the Carson City Legislature Building, the Nevada Tax Commission will be hearing the proposed rules and regulation changes to the locally assessed property tax regulations. The regulations control the assessment methods that must be used by the appraisers after July 1, 2004.

If these revised regulations are voted to be adopted, every county in the entire state of Nevada will be affected.

The Village League has been working with the Department of Taxation and the Tax Commission for almost a year and through 33 meetings to arrive at consensus language.


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