Nevada Supreme Court Hears Property Tax Overassessment Case

January 8, 2008

In Lake Tahoe, property owners were heard today by the Nevada Supreme Court over their property taxes. Some 300 of the landowners won in the lower court after they convinced a judge that their property had been overassessed for tax purposes.

Rather than order a reassessment, though, the judge ordered the taxes rolled back two years to the 2002-03 level. The local government, for equity reasons, extended the rollback to all taxpayers, but argued that correct remedy is re-appraising the property, not simply rolling back the taxes.

Deputy Attorney General Karen Dickerson said the court has the power to roll back assessments “only to the extent of excess valuation.” She said what Griffin’s order did was to give “a windfall to a group of property owners at Incline Village” by rolling the taxes back two full reassessment cycles.

Deputy Attorney General Dennis Belcourt argued a two-year rollback is unconstitutional under Nevada’s constitution because revaluation must be done annually.

“Neither the tax commission or the court can exempt taxpayers from annual revaluation.” And he said a two-year rollback creates an “unconstitutional under-valuation” for those Incline residents.

More on property taxes here.

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