In 2005, the state Legislature capped property tax increases for residential and commercial properties at 3 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Having two different rates seems unconstitutional to me and many others. Article 10, Section 1, of the Nevada Constitution, in part, states: “The Legislature shall provide by law for a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation.” I do not see how the divided rate system passes muster.
Even though the people seem to be okay with the current law, our government bureaucrats and other government funded organizations can’t leave well enough alone and have already started a campaign to go back and change the law because they want more. The game is the same: more tax and spend and spend and tax, with no accountability. The vicious cycle goes on making our citizenry big losers. It’s time to engage and make changes in our state and local elections. Let’s vote for lawmakers who truly represent the people and do what they say.
With regards to property tax law, maybe it’s time to take some direct citizenry action and remove the power of the legislature to be lobbied every few years into making laws that benefits the tax and spend policy. The fight for a fair and just property tax system in Nevada, like Proposition 13 in California, started in 1999 with Assemblywoman Sharron Angle and Senator Don Gustavson. They proposed bills in several legislative sessions that were refused hearings and votes. They stood through all kinds of weather collecting signatures for initiative petitions. Their Prop 13 was fashioned off one of the only good things that has ever come out of California – Proposition 13. This law assesses property taxes on the amount paid, not the current value, thereby allowing people to have a predictable, affordable rate.
Angle and Gustavson successfully collected the required signatures in 2007 and qualified for the ballot with their Nevada version of Prop 13. But, the Nevada Education Association and the AFL-CIO came hard against the petition and filed a law suit to stop it. It was thrown off the ballot by a Judge who failed to disclose that his wife was a member of the teacher’s union.
Last year two bills were introduced; SJR12 by Senator Gustavson and SJR13 by Senator James Settlemeyer. Through negotiation ,the SJR13 rendition was accepted and passed. It will be on the November 2018 ballot for taxpayers to approve.
But let’s not be so quick to vote for SRJ13. A slight deviation to the petition makes a big difference. They have changed the rate from 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent of the base value and 2 per cent to 3 per cent maximum yearly increase or decrease. Furthermore, SJR 13, as it went through the legislature last year, establishes a base year value for real property as fiscal year (FY) 2018. They say they are using FY 2018 as the base year since the bill must be passed by the legislature in 2015 and 2017 and passed by the people in 2018; and the base rate would be established the day the voters approve the measure.
This new Prop 13 needs to be watched closely. The base value is concerning, but more so is how they plan to affect and establish the value of your property. If the base valuation is significantly above previous years to the new Prop 13 law’s enactment, which capped property tax increases for residential and commercial properties of 3 percent and 8 percent, respectively, many people are going to be losing their properties as they will not be able to afford such property tax raises.
Call to Action: Folks, let’s keep a close eye on what our elected officials are doing. We need to make sure if any laws are changed, we the people, are aware and have a voice in the process. Vote out elected officials who say one thing and do another and retain those that keep their word.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”