Assessor Expects Thousands of Property Tax Appeals

LAS VEGAS -- Southern Nevada home sales saw a slight increase last month, but prices are still much lower from what homeowners paid years ago. With new value assessments going out next week, people fear they may be paying too much for their property tax.

Last year, the Clark County Assessor received nearly 8,300 appeals. This year, the housing market is still bad and the Assessor says they will be swamped again with residents requesting a reduction in their property rate.

"We expect the same this year due to the economy and the falling prices of homes," said , Assessor-elect Michele Shafe.

Thomas Williams is here at the Assessor to appeal his property tax. His home's appraisal was $80,000 more than it's worth. He hopes to lower it by 20 percent.

"That's $500 plus that's in my pocket that's going to the county," he said.

Assessment values will be mailed out next week. The tax rate times your home's assessed value equals home much property tax you'll pay.

"We'll see if the county is keeping up with the decrease in value or whether they're just holding the value artificially high," said Williams.

Shafe says 95 percent of residential appeals were reduced last year.

"It needs to be based on market conditions, either having an appraisal or giving us some recent sales that occurred in the neighborhood. That would be helpful," she said.

Williams is hopeful, because right now every penny counts.

"It's crucial in the fact that its money in my pocket that's going out for no reason," he said.

Clark County lost almost $514 million in taxes last year because real-estate prices tanked. While that's less money for police, fire and school budgets, the Assessor says it doesn't matter. Appeals are based on market conditions and not the financial condition of the county.


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