Taxes to roll back for all Incline Village, Crystal Bay
Nevada Appeal News Service
The Incline Village-based League to Save Incline Assets barely averted having its property tax rebate strategy backfire Wednesday in Reno as the Washoe County Board of Equalization rolled back all property tax valuations for Incline Village and Crystal Bay to 2002-03 levels, but not the whole of the county.
If current district court decisions stand, Terry Shea of the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office, noted it could call into question the equalization of all property values in Washoe County.
Had the board of equalization rolled back valuations on the entire county, rather than 8,000 residential properties, tax revolters speculated it would then be entirely plausible that the county, in turn, could simply claim there is no possible way to pay back the money.
“We did the math for 17 parcels (to be rolled back) in Incline and estimated it will cost the county $32 million,” said Maryanne Ingemanson, Village League president. “The county (district attorneys) tried to get (the board) to roll back all of Washoe to make the elephant too big to eat, so to speak.
“But the board wouldn’t go for it.”
Both the county District Attorney’s Office and counsel for the tax revolters have requested an expedited hearing before the Nevada Supreme Court. If the court upholds two district judge decisions made in January, it will “only be a matter of time” before refund checks find their way to Incline and Crystal Bay, Ingemanson said.
Last week, assessor’s office spokesman John Faulkner said his office will continue to “follow the courts, and until they make a decision – we’ve been told not to change values.”
When Carson City District Court Judge William Maddox ordered property tax refunds for 17 Incline Village property owners in early February, the county district attorney’s office filed an emergency stay with the Supreme Court. The stay was denied and eventually led to Wednesday’s board of equalization decision.
But tax revolters also know the long-term battle is far from over.
“The taxpayers of Incline Village and Crystal Bay need to realize that this roll back to 2002-03 taxable values is only good for one year,” said Incline resident and revolter Wayne Fischer. “For the following year, things start all over again. The assessors can come up with a brand new scheme for valuation of our property taxes. And we start this all over again.
“The good news here is that they will be much more cautious. And, they will make sure the Nevada Tax Commission has fully approved their new methods.”