Perkins proposes property tax break for little guy

Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, called for a property tax exemption Tuesday designed to give the little guy a break.

Perkins said if lawmakers enact Gov. Kenny Guinn's proposed 15-cent state property tax, he wants them to also enact a $50,000 exemption on the assessed value of property.

"In essence, it's staying with the philosophy of shielding the individual homeowner and small business," he said.

The result of the exemption would be a non-property tax increase for the owner of a home or small business if the property is valued less than $143,000. He said the governor's proposed property tax hike would raise the tax on a $200,000 home by just $32 a year.

But he said the increased tax on a $2 million business would be $1,040, and the increase on a $2 billion casino would be $1.1 million.

"The goal of this proposal is to shift the burden to big business and those who own luxury homes and away from families and seniors who can least afford an increased tax burden," said Perkins.

He said his proposal is designed as an offset if lawmakers decide to impose the 15-cent additional property tax Gov. Kenny Guinn has called for to provide the state more revenue.

"If the final tax package does include an increase in property tax, however, it is critical we make sure it is fair, and that the least burden possible falls on average taxpayers and small businesses," said Perkins.

Perkins said, however, his plan would reduce the amount of money that would be raised by Guinn's original proposal. He said the difference could be made up by cutting some budgets, plus measures to make big business assume more of the state's tax burden.

The proposal hasn't yet been drafted as an amendment. Perkins said he asked the Legislative Counsel Bureau to analyze his proposal thoroughly to make sure everyone knows its impacts.


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