County refunds 25 percent of taxes for flooded areas
County commissioners voted Thursday to refund 25 percent of property taxes for the land on which residences and commercial operations were built and effected by the flooding in early January.
The refund for this year will total $5,847.
Assessor Barbara Byington said that if a resident who was on the refund list had a house worth $200,000 built on property with an assessed value of $100,000, that resident would get a tax refund this year of one quarter of what they paid on the $100,000 property tax.
There was also another list of residents and businesses circulated by the assessors’ office which showed residents who applied for the tax break, but didn’t get it. Many of these people, Byington said, were in the Autumn Hills area and had to ask for the refund before the roll closed last July.
Some, however, were in the Ranchos and were looked at and determined not to be flood damaged. Still a few others were in the Autumn Hills area and were determined to be flood damaged.
Chief Deputy Appraiser John Parra said it will take three years for residents in the flood-ravaged lower Ranchos area to get their property values back to where they were before flooding.
Parra said most of the affected buildings were residences but there were three commercial operations affected, the Carson Valley Golf Course, the Carson Valley County Club and Riverview mobile home park.
District Attorney Scott Doyle asked the commission to make the refund payable out of the county’s contingency fund so that it wouldn’t effect any general improvement district budgets.
“Let the county absorb the total costs,” said Doyle, telling the commission he had received a letter from a GID manager saying that district relies on the income and budgets for it.
Parra said now is the time when these people need help as property values generally decrease in the first two-to-three years after disasters such as those that have affected the lower Ranchos and Autumn Hills.
Parra said the Autumn Hills area is already showing signs of revitalization. He said that there is vegetation coming back to the area and he expects property values make a strong come back soon.
“It think that market will recover and do well within six months,” said Parra.
Autumn Hills resident Darwin Ellis, who applied for the refund but didn’t get it, addressed the commission, saying it wasn’t fair to base the assessment on selling value.
“I’m not going to sell,” said Ellis.
“We should do this,” said commissioner Kelly Kite.
Parra said his department will keep track of sales to see if property is selling for less or more in the Ranchos and Autumn Hills so that the assessors might have an idea of what future tax breaks and refunds, if any, will be mandated over the next couple of years.
Kite moved that the commission approve the proposal and the vote was unanimous.