Hettrick: Tax cap should be pursued by legislators | NevadaAppeal.com

Hettrick: Tax cap should be pursued by legislators

Jeff Munson

STATELINE – With property-tax bills on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe predicted to increase as much as 30 percent next year, Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick says he’s willing to support or author legislation to halt large increases.

A petition calling for a 2 percent cap on property taxes failed to gather enough signatures to make it on the November ballot. But Hettrick told members of the Tahoe Douglas Chamber of Commerce that while he supports the idea of tax caps, the petition floated by one of his colleagues went too far.

“While I personally don’t think it is the right solution, there is enough leverage there for the impetus for legislation,” the Gardnerville Republican said Tuesday.

The initiative proposed by Assemblywoman Sharron Angle called for a constitutional amendment to limit property-tax increases at 2 percent a year. Some argued counties and school districts in Nevada would be hurt because it would have been retroactive to 2001, forcing school districts and counties to give back money they had collected.

Instead, Hettrick said he will back or sponsor legislation to place a ceiling somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 percent to 6 percent a year.

Citing work by Clark County Assessor Mark Scholfield, both Hettrick and Douglas County Assessor Doug Sonnemann agree that something needs to be done legislatively to halt huge increases in property-tax bills caused by skyrocketing property values in some areas of the state, including Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.

Scholfield’s plan calls for a limit on the amount an individual’s property tax may rise of 6 percent annually.

“It is the best thing going at this point. I could see some modifications to this, but at least it would be a good starting point,” Sonnemann said.