JIM BAGWELL: Where’s the logic in state’s property tax structure? | NevadaAppeal.com

JIM BAGWELL: Where’s the logic in state’s property tax structure?

Jim Bagwell

For the past few years, I have had a few thoughts that have bothered me concerning our property tax structure. I, like you, have recently received my tax bill and I wonder how the numbers were arrived at. My home is still appraised at a rate higher than I could sell it for, even if I could find a buyer.

I know that the wild market we went through a few years ago inflated prices to a point that many homes were beyond the ability of most to buy. Well, it crashed just as quickly. The only problem is we must continue to live with inflated sale prices that are still considered viable comparables.

I guess our Legislature thought wages and property values can only go up. Maybe they need to revisit this issue and make some adjustments. If I can find a sponsor I will write an amendment that would require counties to purchase the property if it is on the market for more than one year at an asking price equal to or less than the county’s appraised value. That would certainly change the appraisal process, wouldn’t it?

My second thought is a flagpole I installed in my yard in 2002. I bought a pole kit for about $40, minus the pole. The pole, a 21-foot piece of galvanized pipe, cost about $1.50 a foot, and is removable from the heavy plastic pipe receiver. Figure in the cost of the receiver, six bags of premixed concrete, and American and Nevada flags, and I was in it for about $150.

The reason I tell you this is this flagpole was appraised at $600; through depreciation it is now appraised at about $500. Over the eight years it has been added to my assessed valuation, I will soon pay for it a second time.

Two significant thoughts: The flagpole is not permanent in the ground, so why is it taxed at all? Secondly, why would my government want to tax me for being patriotic?

I guess my comments to the state Legislature two sessions ago during their deliberations on property taxes were more accurate than I then thought. I suggested that I did not own my home, that the state did and I was only a renter. It is unfortunate but I still feel that way.

If you have never looked at the worksheets the Assessor’s Office uses to appraise your property, you should visit them. They will be happy to show you how your property was appraised and how they arrived at your tax bill. It will definitely open your eyes and give you food for thought.

• Jim Bagwell of Carson City is a Vietnam veteran and graduate of the FBI National Academy who worked 31 years in law enforcement. He and his wife Lori own Charley’s Grilled Subs.