Douglas County faces property tax increase |

Douglas County faces property tax increase

Lakefront property owners in Douglas County could pay two to three times more in property taxes next year.

Residents who own land along the lake and some with lake view lots received letters from County Assessor Barbara Byington informing them of the upcoming state-mandated land appraisal process that occurs every five years. Because some property has sold for more than double its value from five years ago, Byington said the close to 150 owners affected should anticipate their July 2001 tax bills to reflect the dramatic increase.

County Commissioner Don Miner said the hikes are standard policy people have to endure.

“We want to make sure everyone knows this hit is going to come,” Miner said. “It’s a fact of life that the values Incline Village has experienced over the past 10 years have moved to Douglas County. The good news is people’s property values have gone up. The bad news is the appraisal also went up and taxes are based on the appraisals.”

Byington presented the commissioners with examples of how greatly property values have increased at last week’s board meeting.

She said state law dictates taxable values to reflect current market values of land, however in the past few years there haven’t been enough lakefront property sales to necessitate a change in values.

A lot just short of an acre in Lincoln Park, located north of Lake Ridge Estates, sold for $1.5 million in September 1998 and resold for $2.1 million in March 1999.

A lot in Lake Ridge Estates sold for $850,000 in May 1996 and sold for $130,000 more five months later.

A three acre lot across from Hidden Woods went from a price of $2.15 million in January 1998 to $3.2 million one year later.

Byington said the assessor’s office has until mid-November to appraise the land and will send out assessment notices to land owners in December.

Miner said residents who wish to dispute information on the assessment may file an appeal with the Board of Equalization giving reasons why the appraisal was incorrect.

Miner said appeals may be filed because of detriments to the property that weren’t considered in the original assessment, such as telephone or utility poles in someone’s yard.

Miner said those residents who are not up for reappraisal could see a minor tax cut because taxes will be raised for lakefront residents and the county cannot raise property taxes more than 6 percent.

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