Carson Assessor Dave Dawley and the U.S. Postal Service are trying to figure out why some mobile-home residents in the capital didn't receive their annual tax bills.
Dawley began getting calls a couple of days ago from people who received a delinquent notice but say they never got the original tax bill. Now they're being charged a 10 percent penalty.
"We mailed out the tax bills July 18," he said. "I took them over to the post office myself, so I know they were mailed. The beginning of this week, we sent out the delinquent notices and people started calling saying if they had gotten the bill, they would have paid it."
That includes thousands of property and personal property tax bills for everything from businesses and homes to mobile homes and even aircraft.
He said of the 700 delinquent letters, about 400 went to mobile home owners.
Verna Evans is one of those who received the delinquent notice. Her penalty is $8.14, added to her $81.40 annual tax bill.
"I don't think I should have to pay that because I never got the bill," she said.
She said others in her mobile-home park had the same problem.
Dawley said the post office has opened an investigation to try figure out what happened to the original bills.
"We've never had this problem before so we're really trying to find out what happened," said Dawley.
Under state law, he said, those taxpayers may well be stuck with the 10 percent penalty and interest charge as well as the original bill.
NRS 361.480 states: "Failure to receive an individual tax bill does not excuse the taxpayer from the timely payment of his tax bill."
"It's harsh but that's what the law says: That you should know when the tax is due," he said.
Dawley said, however, for some of the callers the mix-up has been beneficial because he and his staff have found a number of people who qualify for tax breaks but weren't aware of them.
"We've gotten some veterans and surviving spouses signed up," he said.
-- Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.