Building taking off again in Carson City
Carson City Community Development officials have issued nearly 200 building permits so far this fiscal year.
That is far more permits in just five months than the annual total in any of the past nine years.
The majority of those permits — more than 100 — were for multi-family projects such as apartments. The majority of the other permits, more 50, were for single family homes.
The renewed economic activity, especially in the capital’s commercial corridors, is driving assessed values up.
Carson City Assessor Dave Dawley said the total value of the city’s secured assessment roll increased by $59.3 million in 2016 to $1.39 billion. He said nearly all of that increase can be attributed to rising land values.
He said residential assessments went up an average of 15-20 percent this year while some commercial areas such as U.S. 50 from the freeway into town went up dramatically.
But he said some of those values are skewed by businesses that rely heavily on location such as gas stations and fast food restaurants. He said those types of businesses are willing to pay several times market value for the right location, which skews surrounding values.
He cited the Maverik gas station and convenience store at U.S. 50 and College Parkway. That land sold for $5 million.
The other issue, Dawley said, is the gap between market value and replacement cost.
“Market values are going up but not at the same rate as construction costs,” Dawley said.
That forces the assessor’s office to artificially depress some of the assessed values of properties where replacement cost exceeds market value of a land and building. He said that happens frequently on brand new homes that don’t yet have any depreciation to reduce their assessed value. Under state law, the value of a property cannot exceed market value.
Also under existing state law, rising market value of homes and commercial buildings won’t really help the city’s revenues. Property taxes, Dawley said, went up two-tenths of a percent — an increase of $4 to $10 for most homes.
The projects either in process or approved include the controversial Vintage with 212 residential units and 93 congregate care units, Bodines’ north in the old K-Mart center, the GS Richards Blvd. apartments, the four-story mixed-use commercial, residential project on Curry Street, the Carson Tahoe Assisted Living facility at the site of the old hospital on Mountain Street and the addition of 64 units to the Bella Lago Apartments. There’s also the 41 home Jackson Village subdivision on Eagle Station Lane, 31 homes planned for Silver Oak, 147 single family townhouses called Arbor Villas, 105 single family lots called Mills Landing and the 434 unit Schulz Ranch project.
Only a few of the permits for those major projects have actually been issued.