Nevada Legislature: Amendment would reform property taxes |

Nevada Legislature: Amendment would reform property taxes

Senators James Settelmeyer and Pete Goicoechea on Thursday introduced a proposed constitutional amendment they say would clean up Nevada’s overly complex and disjointed property tax system.

SJR13 would implement some of the provisions contained in California’s Proposition 13 including updating the value of a property to its market value when it sells.

At present, when a home sells it retains its old taxable value, resulting in many old homes paying almost nothing in property taxes because they are fully depreciated.

“When you sell a home, it’s worth what you paid,” said Goicoechea.

Settelmeyer said the goal of the amendment is not to reduce the amount of revenue local governments and schools receive from property taxes but to clean up a system he said is a mess for assessors to deal with.

Under the current system, he said land is assessed separately from improvements, which results in wide differences in total value and taxes depending on location.

“In Tahoe it’s extremely low,” Settelmeyer said. “In other areas, it’s extremely high.”

He said this plan would tie value to the market place.

Settelmeyer said the plan would also give homeowners who stay in their residences 10 years or more a break and that should generate some added money for the counties.

It would also get rid of some of the provisions of the 2007 legislation designed to protect people from skyrocketing property taxes during Nevada’s building boom, including the language that limits property tax increases to 3 percent for residences but 8 percent for businesses. All properties would be limited to the 3 percent up or down in a year.

Settelmeyer said the idea is to let the voters decide.

They were joined in supporting SJR13 by Sen. Don Gustavson.