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by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  July 3, 2004 - reprinted with permission

  At our Nevada Seniors Coalition meeting on June10th a hundred of us rolled up our sleeves to take on the issue of capping our real estate taxes before we are driven out of our homes in the 2005 tax year. As Mark Schofield the Clark County Assessor stated unless we do something to change the law in the next legislature we are going to see taxes jump 20 to 40% and in some cases double. The 2005 legislature is the drop dead time for the change. The bill should be introduced at the beginning of the session in February not at the end of the session in April.

Not a week goes by that there isn’t something in the news about the home building and buying business and it is all about going up and we mean straight up. The June 25th issue of the RJ page D-1 said it all “LV new-home prices continue rapid ascent”. It goes on; 2,137 new home sales in May, $239,145 Median price of a new home, 6123 existing homes in May an increase of 40.7% since May of 2003. It is predicted home prices will continue to go up with land selling in the $300,000 dollar per acre range and in the $500,000 range per acre when developed. This may make us feel good in case we might sell our home. Recall that from the mid eighties to the early 2000’s resale of homes had about an eight-tenth percent per year increase; not even keeping up with our low inflation rate.

One would have to think the present rate cannot continue because people will soon be priced out of the market, a real shortage of water (in spite of Pat Mulroy’s fairy tales), mass traffic chaos, air pollution, increasing crime, etc. making this a Californi-vada. So what state do we invade after we sell out here? That’s another story for another day. Right now we need to do something to lock in a sensible real-estate tax base or all of us will be taxed out of existence while the Fat-Cat government politicians and bureaucrats go on a self serving spending frenzy like we have never seen.

The petition by Sharon Angle, will take much shoe leather, time and money, plus two years of waiting, politicking and voting before we know what happens. That would also mean two years of volcanic tax increases, that would have to be paid even if there is a roll back feature included in the bill (we should live so long). The Mark Scholfield proposal, which we agree to in principal, would be simply to amend NRS 361.260 Method of assessing property for taxation: appraisals and reappraisals. There would be one paragraph added limiting any assessment to no more than a 6% increase (or less if it works out OK). This can be done by sponsorship in the Assembly and Senate. There should be a will to do it all by itself with nothing else encumbering the bill. Senator Ann O’Connell has already said she will sponsor this bill and would be interested in looking at a smaller cap (this needs to be worked on). There were other legislatures at the meeting including some who answered our mailer (see June NSC Foghorn – Ed.) saying they favor such an effort. Any of you who agree, including candidates or incumbents, let us know of your willingness to help us. At our monthly meetings we will take time to discuss the tax issue regardless of who our main speaker is. Our meetings are on the second Thursday of each month at 10:00am at Boulder Station. Knight Allen, our Director of Legislature will be collaborating this effort.