Total assessed valuations of Carson City real property in Fiscal Year 2016-2017 will rise about 6 percent, Assessor Dave Dawley said Friday, less than in the previous fiscal year.
He said from FY 2014-15 to 2015-16 they increased 6.5 percent, a boost from the fiscal year before that. From FY 2013-14 to 2015-16, the increase in real property — residential and commercial in the city — was 4.2 percent. Certainly an individual assessment could vary to the upside or downside, he noted, but those are the percentage increases in this three-year period. He also noted last week that by state law, residential bills are capped.
“For single-family, owner-occupied residences,” he said, in any given year “they can’t go up more than 3 percent.”
Property tax bills are a function of both the assessment and the rate set in a given governing area. State government has set upside caps. The cap on other types of property is 8 percent, but in FY 2015-16 a state formula meant despite that higher possibility it came in at 3.2 percent. Dawley said next year’s formula, though yet to be determined as it includes a calculation based on the 2015 consumer price index, may well produce a cap under 3 percent.
“If the secondary cap is under 3 percent,” he said, “then all properties’ tax bills could be under 3 percent. That’s based strictly on the tax cap.”
Assessment increases now also are a function of the longer term arc of property valuations from near the century’s start, through the recession and into the ongoing recovery, according to Dawley.
Assessment rolls beginning in FY 2000-2001 for real property were in the neighborhood of $900 million, ascended during a boom period and early in the recession to $1.8 billion, then slumped back to about $1.1 billion in FY 2013-14 before starting to climb again. Those were from figures published in assessment rolls, though some adjustments come six months later each year.
Dawley acknowledged assessments are headed up coming out of the recession, but said the Nevada Department of Taxation acts as a check on the system to make certain that swings conform with state law.
”Values are absolutely going up,” he said. “We do a number of checks to make sure that we are under market value. The Department of Taxation monitors us every three years to see that we’re following state law. The cap protects the home owners from rapidly rising values.”
His office figures showed that even though assessed valuations are ascending after being beaten down in the recession, the swing upward isn’t as significant in the aggregate as some individual property owners might experience. In the case of homeowners, he stressed, the state cap keeps the pocketbook impact on residents from a large upside hit in any single year.