Property values up $81 million for next year in Carson City

Property valuations in Carson City next fiscal year are up by $81.8 million, or nearly 7 percent, but percentages vary markedly in individual assessments recently sent out.

So said Assessor Dave Dawley, who noted values in a number of cases will continue ascending in the following FY 2016-17 period with economic recovery still kicking in. Dawley also said a cap on owner-occupied homes stays at 3 percent when it comes to actual tax bills. In Nevada’s property tax system, that is a state-imposed cap.

Each homeowner’s tax bill involves both the valuation and a rate set by Carson City’s Board of Supervisors, unless the cap intervenes. It’s a rate, or levy, the board dropped earlier this year by two cents to $3.54 per $100 of assessed value. Dawley said in some cases, however, even with that board-approved decrease a bill can increase when the residence’s value increases.

“It will vary,” Dawley said. Some valuations even decreased a percentage point or two, but many increased and some jumped in the range of 25 or 30 percent. The variation in hikes of assessments on real property values — both land and homes built on it — at the ascending end of the curve may prove due to a rebound from the economic swoon a few years ago. Dawley said the hike in values isn’t over with this latest assessment.

“We saw a lot of properties go up 25 percent,” he said, speaking of next fiscal year yet once again cautioning that was in valuation and not the actual tax bill. “They should have gone up 70 percent. We were considerably conservative.”

He said that approach, which isn’t the case in places such as Clark and Washoe counties where “they follow the market really closely,” stems in Carson City from an effort to keep the hit to any particular property owner less onerous by spreading it out over two years.

This century’s roller coaster in overall assessment, including both Carson City owner-occupied residences and commercial property, can be seen by analyzing totals from FY 2000-01 forward. Dawley’s figures show the total was $978.8 million in the first year of the century and went to $997.9 million in FY 2001-02. From then on it was more than $1 billion each year.

The annual levels: $1 billion and change both in FY 2002-03 and 2003-04; $1.1 billion in 2004-05; $1.2 billion in 2005-06; $1.4 billion in 2006-07; $1.6 billion in 2007-08; and a peak of more than $1.8 billion in both of the next two fiscal years. By FY 2010-11, however, the slide developed at just under $1.6 billion. In 2011-12, it was just under $1.4 billion and values continued sliding to $1.2 billion by 2012-13.

But the dip wasn’t done yet. In FY 2013-14, the bottom was reached at $1.1 billion — specifically $1,133,503,365. For the current FY 2014-15, according to Dawley, the assessed value crawled back up a bit to $1,181,248, and for the coming year it ascended again to the $1,263,150,914 figure in the total valuations he just sent out.

He took note as well of the gap from the peak at $1.843 billion, reached in FY 2008-09, and the nadir in 2012-13, which was $1.133 billion, and even the coming year’s $1.263 billion. This coming year’s real property assessment figure is $580 million less than the peak figure six years ago, Dawley’s data shows.

He said there’s much talk about what local governments can do because revenues have been tight during and since the recession from property tax, as well as other revenue streams.

He said that has led to speculation about what the 2015 Legislature may do regarding not only government taxes and revenues in general, but the property tax system in particular. He wouldn’t hazard a guess on the matter, however, with both the governor’s office and the incoming Legislature under Republican control.


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