In Clark County, one postcard could mean you're paying more property taxes than you realize
If you’re a homeowner in Clark County, you’ve likely received letters from the Clark County Assessor’s Office about your property tax rate.
Many people maybe glance at these letters and toss them aside or throw them in a drawer. You may know the property tax cap is 3% and any increase is tied to an increase in the value of your home.
So, why worry? Well, someone said there’s something about taxes going up by 8% ... What? No way. And if that’s true, how and when did it happen?
Briana Johnson, the Clark County Assessor, said if you’ve informed them of your primary residence, tax is capped at 3%. For all other property types, it’s capped at 8% – that includes vacant land, commercial property, rental properties and industrial properties.
“Every December, we mail out to every property owner an evaluation card, letting you know what your value was in the previous year, and what your value is for the upcoming fiscal year. And so people get confused,” she said. “And they think, ‘Well, my value can't go up more than 3%.’ The tax cap is not on value, the tax cap is on the taxes that you actually paid to the treasurer's office in the previous year.”
As an example, Johnson said, last year your tax bill was $1,000. The next year, your taxes should not be more than $1,030. On non-primary residences, it would go up to $1,080.
“However, the tax cap does not apply to new improvements,” she said.
If you purchased a home from a builder, the first time improvements are put on the tax roll, there hasn’t been what they call a tax cap base established. So the year the house is built, it’s taxed as taxes as assessed, which sets your base. The following year, the cap comes into play.
Each year, she said, the State Department of Taxation tells them what the non-primary tax cap will be – the 3% stays the same.
“It's the other that can fluctuate, meaning they have a formula that they use to determine what that other tax cap rate percentage can be,” she said. “And what they do is they take either two times the CPI index or a 10-year rolling average of all assessed values within a county.”
When you get a postcard in the mail regarding your property tax, you have to sign it, acknowledging that the address is your primary residence or other, and send it back. The last time it was mailed in mass was 2018, then again in 2019.
Briana Johnson, Clark County Assessor