Gibbons' tax hearing hits snag

A planned Sept. 11 Nevada Ethics Commission hearing on a complaint filed by Democrats over a big property tax break for Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons hit a snag when one commissioner - a former state Democratic Party chairman - recused himself.

Patty Cafferata, executive director of the commission, said Paul Lamboley (lam-BOW'-lee) of Reno was concerned that the hearing process wouldn't appear neutral. She added that Lamboley hadn't realized that the complaint against Gibbons was filed by the state Democratic Party.

Lamboley and commissioner Mark Hutchison, a Las Vegas Republican, were scheduled to conduct the hearing. State law requires a party split on such two-member panels, which determine whether there's sufficient cause to send a complaint to the full commission.

Such hearings normally are closed but Gibbons has requested that the proceedings be public.

The complaint against Gibbons was filed after The Associated Press reported that Gibbons got the tax liability on 40 acres he owns in scenic Lamoille cut from about $5,000 to $39.71.


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