Special session sought for property tax cap | NevadaAppeal.com

Special session sought for property tax cap

Associated Press

Two Nevada lawmakers who opposed tax increases favored by Gov. Kenny Guinn in 2003 have made a long-odds request that the governor call a special session to cap property tax increases.

Guinn spokesman Greg Bortolin said Tuesday that the Republican governor hadn’t reviewed the request yet and would have “an open mind” in deciding whether a special session is warranted between now and the start of the regular 2005 session in February.

The request on Monday came from state Sen. Ann O’Connell, R-Las Vegas, and Assemblyman David Brown, R-Henderson. They wrote that Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, also supports a special session to impose a 6 percent cap on annual property tax increases.

Despite Guinn’s stated “open mind” on the request, a special session seems unlikely since lawmakers can take up the proposal on their own in February – and since Guinn had to battle with the special session advocates over the higher taxes that he favored last year.

O’Connell said the 6 percent cap, first proposed by Clark County Assessor Mark Schofield, needs to be implemented now. She said that waiting until the 2005 session may be too late to head off big tax increases for homeowners. Enacting the cap now would also give local governments, which fund much of their budgets from property taxes, the opportunity to build a budget based on the new limits, O’Connell said.

“People are just absolutely aghast (at their property tax bills),” she said. “We have to take care of this right away.”