Ethics Panel Sets Sept. 11 Hearing on Nevada Governor's Property Tax Break

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A Sept. 11 state Ethics Commission hearing has been set on a Nevada Democratic Party complaint that Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons abused his position to get a big tax break on 40 acres of land he owns in eastern Nevada.

The public hearing will be conducted by commissioners Mark Hutchison and Paul Lamboley. Hutchison is a Las Vegas Republican and Lamboley, of Reno, once served as state Democratic Party chairman.

State law requires a party split on such two-member panels. The two commissioners will determine whether there's sufficient cause to send the complaint to the full commission.

Such hearings normally are closed but Gibbons has requested that all proceedings and documents related to the complaint be public.

The complaint was filed by Travis Brock, executive director of the state Democratic Party, after The Associated Press reported in July that Gibbons got the tax liability on the property in scenic Lamoille cut from about $5,000 to $39.71.

The Elko County assessor said he felt pressured by Gibbons' request for an agricultural designation ensuring the low taxes.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)