State sets values for major utilities | NevadaAppeal.com

State sets values for major utilities

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

The Nevada Tax Commission on Monday assessed the value for the state’s utilities, airlines and railroads at $1.89 billion.

According to Felicia Denney, who handles those accounts for the Taxation Department, total value of the scheduled and non-scheduled airlines serving Nevada dropped this past year because of both the economy and the terrorist attacks.

“Things have not been well for them,” she told the commission. “There were a lot of economic conditions the airlines had to adapt to.”

As a result, the assessed value of scheduled airlines will drop 13 percent to $182.7 million for fiscal 2004-2005. The assessed value of unscheduled airlines suffered a similar drop to $11.2 million.

Those are the new assessed values that will be used to calculate the property taxes those businesses owe in Nevada. The tax revenues are apportioned among Nevada’s counties by a set of complex formulas.

Terry Rubald of the Taxation Department said airlines may have been the most visible black mark among the centrally assessed this past year, but telecommunications companies took an even harder hit. The value of the 33 companies doing business in Nevada in that category dropped 24 percent to $191.6 million.

Rubald blamed a combination of an excess supply of fiber optic capacity, the collapse of dot-com companies, the economy in general and too-high expectations for the industry.

She said the “boom and bust scenario” caused 11 of the 33 companies to file for bankruptcy in the past year.

For Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power, the largest electrical utilities, assessed value dropped 8 percent to $1.13 billion. The electric utilities are worth a total of $14.8 billion.

Gas and pipeline companies held steady, showing an increase in assessed value of 1.9 percent. That brings the total assessed value of those seven companies to $289.7 million.

Railroads once comprised a much larger portion of properties assessed centrally by the state.

This past year, Rubald said, Union Pacific showed solid recovery from the effects of its merger with Southern Pacific four years ago. Along with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, their assessed value comes to $91.2 million.