Washoe loses bid for appeal in Incline property tax case
The Nevada Supreme Court has rejected Washoe County’s petition for judicial review of a decision in the ongoing Incline Village property tax battle.
Justice Kristina Pickering recused herself and did not participate in the case, but the other six members of the court supported the ruling that Washoe’s legal counsel violated the clear statement of the law by not naming every party of record when filing his challenge to the administrative ruling by the state Board of Equalization.
The battle has been going on since March 2006, when the county board adjusted downward the values of 300 Incline Village homes based on a determination those property values had been improperly set.
To equalize those values with all others in the county, the county board also ordered taxable values of some 8,700 other properties rolled back.
The Washoe assessor petitioned to the state Board of Equalization. When it finally reached the time for a hearing, the state board named all taxpayers included in a list of all those potentially affected as respondents. That list was dubbed “Exhibit A.”
When the board upheld the county board equalization ruling, the Washoe assessor’s office appealed but, instead of naming the parties to the case, listed “Certain Taxpayers (Unidentified)” in its petition to the district court. The district court rejected the appeal but gave Washoe the chance to amend its petition.
“Inexplicably, however, Washoe County did not attach Exhibit A to its amended petition or name any taxpayer individually in the caption, in the body of the amended petition or in an attachment,” the Supreme Court opinion states.
The high court agreed with the district court ruling, pointing out that, in addition to not listing the respondents by name, the amended petition was filed after the 30-day deadline to seek district court relief.
Because of that, the opinion states that the district court was correct in ruling that Washoe County forfeited its right to have the administrative ruling reviewed by a district judge.