Association Opposing Prop. 13-Style Tax Measure In Nevada

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The Nevada Taxpayers Association is opposing a Reno lawmaker's push for Proposition 13-type property tax relief, citing possible legal flaws in a proposed state constitutional amendment.

Carole Vilardo, taxpayer association president, said board members fear the petition being circulated by Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, R-Reno, would end up in the courts.

Vilardo said the association is concerned about rising land values and property tax bills. But none of 36 taxpayer board members who commented was supportive of the ballot initiative before a vote by the 44-member board, she said.

"If we can find a way to provide relief that is consistent and would truly benefit the people and not leave us open to potential ambiguity or misunderstanding as this petition does, we would definitely support that," Vilardo said.

Angle's petition is similar to California's Proposition 13 of 1978.

It would roll back property tax levels in Nevada to the 2001-02 fiscal year and limit them to 1 percent of assessed value.

Annual property tax increases would be capped at 2 percent or the consumer price index, whichever is lower.

A home sold after the measure took effect would be valued at its resale value and the 2 percent annual cap would then take effect. Existing property tax rates for school and other construction bonds would be exempt.

A proposal by Clark County Assessor Mark Schofield to cap property tax bill increases at 6 percent may be a solution, Vilardo said. The group has yet to take a position.

Schofield said last week his idea, being discussed by county assessors statewide, could be passed by the 2005 Legislature and bring quicker relief to homeowners. It would not cap rising land values.

The Angle petition could not take effect until the 2007-08 fiscal year.