Bitterness over tax assessment grows in Nevada
December 28, 2003
By Jack Carrerow
Tribune News Service
INCLINE VILLAGE – Homeowners at the Caughlin Ranch development in Reno have read about the tax revolt taking place in Incline Village and, after receiving their property assessments for this coming year, are joining the movement.
“We read what was happening to (Incline residents) with some interest and then, when we got our bills and saw that some had jumped 65 percent over last year, we felt they had a legitimate beef,” said Caughlin Ranch spokesman Larry Winkler.
According to Winkler, the 1,600 property owners in the area will be notified via a real estate newsletter that he and a group of residents publish quarterly, as to what action they can take. Action, Winkler says that must be taken immediately.
“We only have until the end of the year to file for an appeal. So, our people have to act fast,” Winkler said.
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According to Winkler, he’s tried getting answers by visiting the assessor’s office but ran into some snags.
“When I first asked for the appraisal file on my property, I was given a one page document with very little information,” Winkler said.
“Then, two appraisers came to talk to me and when I asked for the whole file, they hemmed and hawed and then gave me the file and it was incomplete. I was looking for comparables in my area and they couldn’t produce them,” he said.
Winkler said a third appraiser arrived to tell him that even if they showed him comparable assessments in his area, that wasn’t necessarily a good yardstick for him to gauge his property. What they do is a “mass appraisal.”
“The gist of what the appraiser told me was that it was a shame that assessments went so high and that if people lost their homes because of it, that was too bad. It’s the price of progress,” Winkler said.
Winkler hopes that the residents of Caughlin will take steps to file their appeals and make it known that they aren’t going to just take it lying down.
Because of the holiday, the assessor’s office could not be reached for comment.