GRID doesn’t want property devaluation |

GRID doesn’t want property devaluation

Michael Schneider

In response to concerns raised about devaluation of property by Douglas County residents, the Gardnerville Ranchos Board of Trustees voted to send a letter to the county stating the board’s opposition to this consideration.

The action item was placed on the agenda by vice president Al Wagner, who attended the Feb. 20 county commission meeting where residents from the lower Ranchos as well as Autumn Hills residents spoke to the commission, asking for a break in property taxes because of damage due to flooding and fire as well in the Autumn Hills cases.

It was decided at the commission meeting that property taxes couldn’t be lowered, but property could be devalued if it was no longer worth what it was originally valued at by the county, thus lowering property taxes.

Wagner told fellow trustees last week that he was concerned with devaluing property because it is an important source of income for both the county and the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District.

Wagner said he wished to set a precedent with this situation so that if the county is unfortunate enough to suffer a catastrophe that affects a large number of the county’s residents, then everyone won’t want a tax break.

“Other counties, such as Washoe, won’t even discuss it,” said Wagner.

“Life goes on,” said GRGID president Bruce Nystrom, agreeing with Wagner. “The property values will creep back up again. The human mind is a funny thing. People forget disaster. Everybody’s going to survive. They need to stop looking to the government for a handout.”

Wagner then said the GRGID board and the county had already saved many residents affected by recent disasters about $1,000 each by hauling away mud and debris from their homes at no charge.

Trustee Vic Hyden also agreed with Wagner.

“I agree with Al,” said Hyden. “We can’t start these kinds of things.”

Treasurer Beverly Page, in agreement with Wagner, said she would like the letter to not only tell the county that the GRGID board is opposed to devaluation in the Ranchos, but all areas of the county.

“I’m not sure we should be sticking our nose into the county’s business,” said trustee Dewey Jay, the only board member who was not in immediate agreement with Wagner’s letter proposal.

“Someone has to,” said Page.

Nystrom told Jay that if enough people complain to the county, then the county might really devalue many properties.

Jay then agreed, and the ensuing vote was unanimous.