Regional medical center tax assessment disagreement settled

A disagreement has been settled over property taxes owed to Carson City by one of the community's high-profile nonprofits.

The situation originally was questioned back in 2002 when the Assessor's Office discovered that the vacant land where the new regional medical center building was to go wasn't on the tax rolls, said Assessor David Dawley.

"Was it subject to taxes?" he asked.

Nevada has a variety of rules about whether conditions allow nonprofit organizations and businesses to be taxed. One section of code focuses on property and buildings "used for care or relief of orphan children, or of sick, infirm or indigent persons."

"My whole issue is whether this statute says there has to be a building and that it has to be occupied and operating to care for the sick," Dawley said about NRS 361.083. "This is why I believed it was taxable."

The issue was presented to the local Board of Equalization, but its members weren't able to reach an agreement. It was then taken to the state Board of Equalization, which decided in favor of the medical center in 2003.

The assessor's office then sought an answer in State District Court.

"We needed clarification of the laws," Dawley said.

The court ruled in favor of the medical center in October.

Whether the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center site also was subject to tax needed an answer so the city filed a second motion with district court for a ruling.

However, the two sides came to an agreement.

"I think it might be a fair trade-off," Dawley said.

What will happen now: About 50 percent of the cancer center building is being leased to private medical operations.

All the for-profits there will be assessed on the July property bill.

The Cancer Center, a 35,000-square-foot building that is part of the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center campus on 1600 Medical Parkway started operating in November.

A third building is coming to the medical center campus. Tax questions with it will be more easily answered because of the new agreement, Dawley added.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

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