CARSON CITY - The packed capital city legislative room erupted with applause as Nevada Tax Commission Chair Barbara Campbell announced new language on property tax regulations.
Friday morning marked a "huge victory" for Incline and Crystal Bay taxpayers when the tax commission unanimously voted to change assessed property tax regulations, said Les Barta, a director for the Village League to Save Incline Assets, a local homeowners group protesting assessed property values.
Homeowners would have been faced with a property tax hike this year of about 49 percent.
"Today is a great day," Village League President Maryanne Ingemanson said. "We're thrilled to death. It is a huge win."
The Village League with the Department of Taxation and the Tax Commission worked for almost a year to arrive at the consensus language. The new regulations will be effective as of July 1.
"We expect this will bring significant relief in property taxes," he said. "Abusive appraisal methods and highly objectionable tax methods have ended."
Past rule and regulation problems fell into the categories of tear-downs, view categories, time adjustments, condo land values and beach-rock ratings, Ingemanson explained.
"Anytime you can make things clearer, it benefits everybody," said Washoe County Assessor Bob McGowan. "I hope this gets us to where we all want to be - at a more stable form of property evaluation. We've come a long way in making things clearer and more understandable as to what the process is and where questions arise - we have a clearer place to go."
The new regulations will force tax assessors to adhere to a stricter framework, said Nevada Tax Commission Senior Deputy Attorney General Greg Zunino. And under the new regulations, tax payers will have a better idea how the assessor comes to his conclusions, he said.
"This limits the assessor's discretion in determining what appraisal methodologies to employ, and it gives tax payers a better understanding of the process as well," Zunino explained.