January 30, 2010

Nevada GOP Gubernatorial Candidate: Scrap the Caps

GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Montandon is making his views on Nevada property tax reform known-- and so far they all seem quite sensible.

As reported by the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Montandon thinks:
(1) it's absurd that Nevada remains the only state that values real property for tax purposes based on depreciated value (which depends primarily on how old your house is) rather than market value;
(2) the "tax caps" enacted a few years ago, which restrict the amount by which a property's tax liability can increase each year to 3 percent for residential properties, were (and remain) a bad idea;
(3) property needs to be valued in a systematic and professional manner. (Right now, as is becoming increasingly clear, different localities are using different standards of valuation.)

Caveats: I'm paraphrasing, and things #1 and things #3 shouldn't be that controversial anyway.
But saying thing #1 amounts to repudiating the big property tax cuts Nevada enacted in 1981 to head off a Proposition 13-style tax revolt, and that takes some guts-- even if it's obviously correct.

It's to be expected, maybe, that a guy coming from a local government background (he was mayor of North Las Vegas) will have a critical stance toward state-imposed constraints on local taxing authority, but still. Bottom line is that Montandon is saying precisely the things that ought to be said about Nevada's past, and hopeful future, property tax changes.