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County Home => Assessor`s Office => Frequently Asked Questions

 

Frequently Asked Questions
Washoe County Assessor

The Office of the Washoe County Assessor mails assessment notices as a courtesy to the property owners of Washoe County to inform them of the proposed taxable and assessed value of the real property on the tax roll for the next fiscal year.
The Assessor`s Office makes every effort to send each property owner a value notice; however postal delays cannot be controlled. If you would like to verify that this office has the correct mailing address please contact our office at (775) 328-2233. You can also verify your mailing address on line by going to Real Property Assessment Data then click on "Go To Search Page". There you will be able to look up your parcel using your Parcel Number, Street Address, or Owner Name.

The full secured tax roll will be printed in the newspaper, per NRS 361 , before the first day in January. Copies will be available at the Washoe County Assessors Office and at Washoe County Libraries.
No, tax bills are mailed by the Washoe County Treasurer. Tax bills for the secured tax roll are mailed in July of each year. Tax bills for unsecured real property are mailed in November
The Taxable Value can change because of a boundary change, new construction, a change in use, a mandatory five year reappraisal, factoring in years a reappraisal is not done, or any combination of these factors.
  • Boundary changes occur when old parcels are either divided or combined.
  • New construction includes new buildings, additions, remodeling, etc.
  • Changes in use can include such changes as converting a residence to office or retail use or land from agricultural use to residential use.
  • Reappraisal of property is done annually. Improvements are recalculated to current cost of replacement, less depreciation and land is revalued to reflect the current market.
If we are unable to resolve your concerns you can appeal to the County Board of Equalization for a review of your property`s taxable value. The appeal forms may be obtained by contacting our office or the Nevada Department of Taxation. Your appeal must be filed by January 15th.

Please note: the burden of proof is on the taxpayer to show that the valuation is in error or that the taxable value exceeds full cash value (market value).

Also note: the role of the Assessor is property valuations, not property tax rates or taxes. Questions concerning your tax rates or taxes should be directed to your County Commissioner or locally elected state representative.

The appeal form and additional information can be found on our website on our Assessment Notice/Appeal Information page.
This is your first opportunity to review the proposed taxable value of your property. If you believe that this new value is in error or is above the full cash value for your property, please call (775) 328-2233 or visit the Assessor`s office at 1001 E Ninth St. and ask to speak to an appraiser. Upon request, our office will furnish a copy of the most recent appraisal of the property and more often than not your question or concern can be resolved on the initial phone call or visit. Information on your property assessment can also be found through our Property Assessment Data web pages.

Click here for For Real Property Assessment Data. Data updated nightly and will give you specific information for the parcels.
NRS 361.471-361.4735 provides for a partial abatement of taxes by limiting or "capping" the amount a tax bill can increase from year to year. The increase is limited to 3% for an owner occupied primary residence (single-family home, townhouse, condominium or manufactured home) and certain qualified rental properties. Tax bills for all other properties (residences that are not owner occupied, land, commercial buildings, business personal property, aircraft, etc.) are limited to a percentage not to exceed 8%.
  • If the property is your primary residence within the State of Nevada, the abatement equals the amount of taxes that exceed last year`s tax bill plus 3%.
  • If the property contains rental unit(s) and the rent on all units within the property are at or below the fair market rent for the county in which the dwelling is located, as most recently published by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the abatement equals the amount of taxes which exceed last year`s tax bill plus 3%.


  • Most other properties (rental units where the rent exceeds the HUD guidelines, commercial, industrial, vacant land, mixed use, etc.), except as noted below, are subject to an abatement at a higher level which is calculated by comparing


  • (1) The greater of: (I) The average percentage of change in the assessed valuation of all the taxable property in the county, as determined by the Department, over the fiscal year in which the levy is made and the 9 immediately preceding fiscal years; (II) Twice the percentage of increase in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average (All Items) for the immediately preceding calendar year; or (III) Zero; or (2) Eight percent, whichever is less.


  • For 2011, the result of the above is 4%
Because the current year tax bill is calculated based on the prior year tax bill, changes in assessed value do not have as much impact on a tax bill (up or down) as they did prior to the law change.

The abatement is the amount of additional taxes that would have been owed if not for the tax cap. For a property with a 3% tax cap, if the 2008 tax bill was $1,000 the 2009 tax bill could be no more than $1,030 even if the calculated taxes (assessed value x tax rate) were $1,050.

In the example above the $20 difference between the actual tax bill of $1,030 and the calculated tax bill of $1,050 is the abatement.

The abatement amount is identified on the tax bill. A decrease in assessed value will not result in a decrease in taxes until the prior year`s tax bill plus your tax cap percentage is greater than your actual calculated taxes. In an increasing market you may receive abatement for each year. In a declining or stagnant market your tax bill may eventually increase until there is no abatement for a tax year.

For most properties, fiscal year 2004/05 is the base year for applying the tax cap and calculating the abatement. Although values may have increased in succeeding years, the new law limits the increase to a tax bill to 3% or 8%.

Any increase in value (except increases due to improvement to or changes in the actual or authorized use of the property) that would cause a property owners tax bill to increase by more than 3% or 8% results in an abatement of the taxes.

For parcels created after fiscal year 2004/05, which are designated as "new parcels", the base year would be the year the parcel was created and the abatement and tax cap would apply from that year forward.

Click here for additional examples
All owner occupied homes (including single-family homes, condos, townhouses and manufactured homes) that are used as primary residences qualify for the 3% tax cap. Also, rental units may be eligible if all the units are rented for equal to or less than the HUD median market rents.
The statutes provide for a partial abatement of the ad valorem taxes levied on a qualified property. The effect of this partial abatement results in a Tax Cap. The tax cap will limit the increase of your tax bill to 3% over the previous year`s tax amount for your primary residence within Nevada or rental properties where the rent charged does not exceed the fair market rent for the county in which the dwelling is located, as most recently published by HUD. Most other property will receive a higher "cap", which, for 2011/2012 is 4 % over the previous years tax bill. This higher cap is subject to change yearly. It does not limit the increase in assessed value.
A residence which is designated by the owner as the primary residence of the owner in this State, exclusive of any other residence of the owner in this State; AND

Which is not rented, leased or otherwise made available for exclusive occupancy by any person other than the owner of the residence and members of the family of the owner.
The exemption will be applied to the tax bill after the cap is applied.
The following situations could cause an increase of more than the prescribed cap:

An exemption, which was applied to last years tax bill, was removed for the current year.

There was a change in use for the property such as a zoning change or mobile home conversion.

There was new construction or improvement to the property.

New, Voter approved, increases were levied or the property was annexed into a district with a higher tax rate.

There are items billed on your tax bill that are not ad valorem taxes. These are not affected by the tax cap, and could increase more than the prescribed cap.
Not necessarily, any property where the percentage of tax increase is less than the corresponding cap, and there is no prior abatement, will only be billed the original increase of the taxes. The corresponding cap will not automatically increase the tax bill.
If you live in the home you own, it is considered your primary residence and therefore qualifies for the 3% tax cap.
The rent you are charging would need to be equal to or less than the HUD median market rent in order to qualify for the 3% cap. The higher cap would apply unless it is a new property for this year, which does not have a cap.
If you own both the land and the manufactured home, and occupy the manufactured home as your primary residence you are eligible for the 3% tax cap on the land and manufactured home. This applies even if the manufactured home has not been converted to real property.

If you own the manufactured home but not the land, the manufactured home is eligible for the 3% tax cap. The cap level for the land would be determined based on the space rent charged.

If you own the land but not the manufactured home you would not be eligible for the 3% tax cap unless the space rent is less than the HUD median market rent.

If you own the land and the manufactured home but they are a rental, you are eligible for the 3% tax cap only if the rent you are charging is equal to or less than the HUD median market rent.
Yes, as long as you are not already claiming another property in the State of Nevada as your primary residence.
Each and every rental unit on the parcel must be rented for equal to or less than the HUD median market rent. All units must qualify.
If your parcel has a land use code (zoning) of residential, your property would still qualify for the 3% tax cap.
If your parcel has a land use code (zoning) of commercial and it also includes your primary residence, the residential portion of your property can qualify for the 3% cap.

The county assessor may determine the separate portions of your property that are commercial (nonqualifying) and residential (qualifying) and apply to each such portion the appropriate partial abatement from property taxes.
The transfer of ownership of property will trigger a new affidavit to be mailed to the new owner to verify the status. The new affidavits will be mailed in April and August.
The 3% tax cap is applied to your tax amount, not the assessed value of your property.
No, you must sign the application and, if necessary, the rental questionnaire as the property owner. We will send the documents to you upon request.
No, but you will not qualify for the primary residence or residential rental (low income rental) tax cap if you do not, and you must sign the form.

Please note: Incomplete and/or unsigned forms may result in the property not qualifying for the lower tax cap which may result in a higher tax bill.
No. Any owner or legally authorized agent may sign the letter.
Yes, all properties in which the beneficiary of the trust occupy as their primary residence would qualify for the 3% tax cap.
No, only the amount of increase on your tax bill is capped.
No, only the amount of increase on your tax bill is capped.
No, the cap is applied based on the status effective July 1st of that fiscal year ( our fiscal year is July 1 thru June 30). You can change your property qualification to primary residence effective July 1st of the following year.
No, if you rent by the day, your property would be considered transient lodging, which does not qualify.

A better way to do the math would be: Rent of $400 a day X 30 days in a month = $12,000 a month rent, which is above HUD median market rent, and would not qualify.
No, transient lodging does not qualify.
The home in Nevada could qualify as your primary residence provided it meets all the previously stated requirements and it is not rented out at any time when you are not occupying the home.

If it is a full time rental and meets the HUD low rental guidelines it may qualify for the 3% residential rental tax cap.
You can have only one primary residence in Nevada, however, if each home that you own has a family member living in it full time, that does not pay any rent, then that home would qualify for the 3% cap as a rental, renting below HUD median market rent. (The rent would be $0.00 a month.)
The Assessor`s Office has created a form for you to fill out to appeal the decision made on the tax cap applied to your property. You can obtain that form by calling, writing or coming in to the Assessor`s Office and asking for the Partial Abatement, "tax cap", appeal form. It is also available on their web site:

Jump to Appeal Form Link

Beginning with the 2009/2010 fiscal year the deadline to appeal is June 30th. So for the 2010/2011 fiscal year appeals must be filed by June 30, 2011. Prior to 2009/2010 the deadline to appeal was January 15th, so for the 2008/2009 fiscal year the appeal deadline was January 15, 2009.

The Assessor has 30 days to respond to your appeal.
If you disagree with the decision on your appeal you may contact the Assessor`s Office with additional information and/or appeal the decision to the Nevada Tax Commission as oulined in Nevada Revised Statute 361.4734(2).

You have 30 days after receiving notice of the Assessor`s decision to file an appeal with the Nevada Tax Commission.
Once we receive a claim form for an owner occupied primary residence we maintain the 3% cap on the property unless there is an ownership change, mailing address change, or if the owner notifies us of a status change. At that time we would send out another claim form for verification. We have to verify rents every year so you’ll continue to receive the rental forms.
An application must be completed and returned to the Assessor`s office. Call 775-328-2223 for information and to request the appropriate application.
Yes, Nevada offers tax exemptions to persons meeting certain requirements such as: Surviving Spouse, Veterans, Disabled Veterans, and Blind Persons. These exemptions can be applied to real property, personal property (mobile homes, etc.) or used to exempt all or part of your vehicle privilege tax. The tax dollar amount of the exemption varies.


Nevada also has special exclusions for pollution control, radioactive fallout shelters, renewable resource heating and cooling systems, and residential construction to remove architectural barriers for handicapped persons.
For an exemption to be used on real property, the application must be made and the real property exemption card signed on or before June 15, prior to the start of the new tax year. If the exemption is to be applied to personal property or a motor vehicle, the personal property exemption card may be signed any time on or before the date such taxes are due.

An initial claim for a tax exemption on real property acquired after June 15 and before July 1 must be filed on or before July 5.
This exemption applies to surviving spouses who are residents of the State of Nevada. To receive this exemption a surviving spouse must bring a copy of the death certificate to the Assessor`s office when initially applying for the exemption, and sign an affidavit of bona fide residency*.

A surviving spouse of a 60% or greater disabled veteran may also qualify to receive an additional exemption, please contact our office for details.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.
The Blind Persons Exemption is available to residents with visual acuity that does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye when corrected, or whose field of vision subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less. To qualify for this exemption, it is necessary to furnish a doctor`s statement that the above requirements are met and sign an affidavit of bona fide residency*.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.
The Veteran`s exemption is applicable to an honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States who is a bona fide resident* of the State of Nevada and:

(a) Has served a minimum of 90 continuous days on active duty, who was assigned to active duty at some time between April 21, 1898, and June 15, 1903, or between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, or between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, or between June 25, 1950, and May 7, 1975, or between September 26, 1982, and December 1, 1987, or between October 23, 1983, and November 21, 1983, or between December 20, 1989, and January 31, 1990, or between August 2, 1990, and April 11, 1991, or between December 5, 1992, and March 31, 1994, or between November 20, 1995, and December 20, 1996;

(b) Has served on active duty in connection with carrying out the authorization granted to the President of the United States in Public Law 102-1; or

(c) Has served on active duty in connection with a campaign or expedition for service in which a medal has been authorized by the Government of the United States, regardless of the number of days served on active duty,

and who received, upon severance from service, an honorable discharge or certificate of satisfactory service from the Armed Forces of the United States, or who, having so served, is still serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, is exempt from taxation.

When filing for the first time, it is necessary to bring in a copy of your separation papers showing dates of entry and discharge or release from active duty.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.
The Disabled Veteran`s Exemption is provided for veterans who have a permanent service connection disability of at least 60%.

To qualify for this exemption, you must be a bona fide resident* of Nevada and furnish copies of your separation papers showing dates of entry and discharge and documentation of the percentage of service connected disability from the Veteran`s Administration. The surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who was eligible for this exemption at the time of his/her death may also be eligible to receive the benefits of this program.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.
It is a tax according to value (ad valorem) levied on all property not permanently affixed to land, such as business equipment, building improvements, aircraft , agricultural equipment, possessory interests, billboards, etc. Click here for Personal Property Overview.
The personal property declaration requires you to report information on any taxable personal property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled or managed by the person, firm, corporation, association or company on July 1st of the current fiscal year. This information includes the location, the cost and year of acquisition of each item of taxable personal property, including any applicable shipping and installation charges and the cost of any improvements of the personal property, such as additions to or renovations of the property other than routine maintenance or repairs.

Items that are exempt from taxation include business inventory held for resale, consumable supplies (to be used within one year), livestock, boats and personal household belongings. The exemption of household goods does not extend to personal property or furnishings rented or leased to another party or rented in conjunction with the rental of a dwelling unit. Motor vehicles required to be registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety are exempt from the property tax, though subject to a governmental service tax.
No. Report the original acquisition costs, and year of acquisition. The Assessors office will apply depreciation according to a schedule supplied by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

No. On of July 1, 1998 the Nevada Administrative Code was changed to exclude sales tax in the determination of original costs for personal property declarations. (NAC 361.134)
Your original cost x cost index - depreciation = taxable value. The Nevada Department of Taxation provides the replacement cost and depreciation factors, used to determine the taxable values.

Taxable value is assessed at 35%. Taxable Value x .35 = Assessed Value.
Tax information is maintained by the Office of the Washoe County Treasurer

.
Sales tax is a one-time tax, which is collected at the point of sale. Personal property tax is an annual tax, which is based on the current value of the property.
State statutes require every person, firm, corporation, association or company doing business in Nevada to report annually to the county where the personal property is located.
Notice to file reminders are sent out in late June of each year. Declarations must be filed online no later than July 31st. The assessor may grant one or more 30 day extension`s on request.

When operating a business from your home, report all personal property used for business purposes.
Report used equipment in the same manner as other personal property. If you do not have a record of your acquisition cost, you may either 1) Report an estimate of the value of the item in the year you acquired it, or, 2) Estimate the current value of the item in its present condition, and report the year of acquisition as the current calendar year.
You will be required to furnish information regarding the name & address of the owner or lessor and a description of the equipment.
For equipment that does not have an acquisition cost, you may either 1) Report an estimate of the value of the item in the year you acquired it, or 2) Estimate the current value of the item in its present condition, and report the year of acquisition as the current calendar year.

Report all building improvements you have made in detail, including year of acquisition, description and cost. Our office will determine if they are taxable and also make sure they will not be taxed as both personal property and real property.
If you do not use any furniture, fixtures, equipment, etc. , please indicate this on the declaration. Continue to file a declaration every year you are in business and/or have a business license.

NRS 361.265 requires the Assessor to estimate the value of the personal property and issue a tax bill based on the estimated value.
Do not send payment with your declaration. Although a lien for the taxes attaches on July 1st, personal property bills are sent out between August and May of each fiscal year. Taxes are due on the "due" date on the personal property tax bill. In Washoe County the Treasurer`s Office collects the taxes.

There is no provision in the statues for proration. If you are in business on July 1st you are liable for the full tax amount.
If, in your opinion, the assessed value of your personal property shown on your bill is incorrect please feel free to contact the Assessor`s Office. If, after discussing the matter, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the County or State Board of Equalization. You may obtain the forms from the Assessor`s Office.

Yes. Please e-mail or otherwise notify our office in writing of any changes at any time of the year. Please include your new physical location, mailing address or the approximate date the business terminated.
The role of the Assessor`s Office is to estimate property values. We do not collect taxes. But, by law, we must discover all taxable property in the County and appraise its value, then calculate 35% of that appraised value to determine its assessed value.

If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the Assessor`s, please contact our office and discuss the matter. We will be glad to answer your questions about the appraisal and explain how to appeal if we cannot come to an agreement.
Your tax rate is established in the spring of each year by the Nevada Tax Commission from budgets submitted by local governmental entities such as City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, Fire Protection Districts, School District and others. Services provided by those governmental bodies are a result of these budgets, and questions about governmental services should be directed to those agencies.
Taxes are collected by the County Treasurer based on tax bills sent out in July, and on some new construction, bills sent out in December of each year. All questions on taxes paid or to be paid should be directed to the Treasurer`s Office at 328-2510.
The Taxable Value of your land is the Assessor`s estimate of its full cash value, taking into account its location, zoning, actual use, etc. The Taxable Value of your buildings is their estimated replacement cost less depreciation. Your taxes will be based on your total assessed value, which is 35% of your total appraised value. For value information on your property assessment data please click here to access the parcel summary page.
They change when either your tax rate changes or your assessed value changes. Your assessed value can change because of a boundary change, new construction, a change in use, reappraisal or factoring.
  • Boundary changes occur when old parcels are either subdivided or combined.

  • New construction includes new buildings, additions, remodeling, etc.

  • Changes in use are, for example, a change from residential use to office or retail use.

  • Reappraisal or factoring is done to keep values up to date with changes in individual properties, local and neighborhood trends, and inflation or recession.
Annually. Each year, all properties will either be reappraised or their previous assessed value will be factored using factors established or approved by the Nevada Tax Commission
If your property has been removed, or severely damaged by a disaster such as a landslide, flood, etc. please contact the Assessor’s Office so that we can correct your assessed value.
When the real property tax roll is completed each November, value change notices are sent to all taxpayers. If you have a question, you may call the Assessor`s Office or come in and talk to an appraiser. If we are unable to resolve your concern you may appeal to the County Board of Equalization . If you are still not satisfied, you may appeal to the State Board of Equalization, and, thereafter, through the Court System. Any of theses bodies may adjust your assessed value. Appeals to the County Board of Equalization must be filed at the Assessor`s Office no later than January 15th.

Personal Property is billed at various times during the year. If, in your opinion, the assessed value of your personal property shown on your bill is incorrect please feel free to contact the Assessor`s Office. If, after discussing the matter, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the County or State Board of Equalization. You may obtain the forms from the Assessor`s Office.
The Treasurer`s Office maintains the mailing address information used by our office. The owner of a property can request a change of mailing address for your property taxes by:

Mail: Washoe County Treasurer P.O. Box 30039 Reno, NV 89520

Be sure to write legibly and include: your name, property address/parcel number, current mailing address, new mailing address, your signature.

Email: tax@washoecounty.us

Fax: (775) 328-2500

Use our online form
No, the Assessor’s Office staff does not survey property. If you need a surveyor, there are many qualified people listed under "Surveyors" in the yellow pages of the phone book.
No, we do not provide legal advice on property rights or any other subject. A title company or an attorney who specializes in issues related to real estate should be contacted.
No, we do not research or determine whether particular parcels have access. Easements must be researched by the interested party at the Washoe County Recorder's Office. A title company can help with this also.
This is a private matter between you and your neighbor. The Assessor’s Office does not get involved in private disputes over property issues.
No. We do not have the ability to settle disputes between property owners as to whether an encroachment has occurred with regard to fences, sheds or any other use or structure.
We do not have building plot plans in the Assessor’s Office. The Building Departments of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County may have plot plans on file for recent construction. The Washoe County Building Department has an instructional pamphlet that tells how to draw your own plot plan.
The Assessor’s office does not keep records on building setback requirements. The Building Departments of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County can give you that information for your particular parcel.
If you are required to have a topographic survey for a building permit or certificate of occupancy, you must hire a surveyor to do this for you and fill out an elevation certificate. If you need to get a copy of the elevation certificate that was submitted previously by you or the previous owner of a property, contact Washoe County Engineering.
We do not keep FEMA Floodplain maps in the Assessor’s Office. For information on whether your property falls within a floodplain, contact Washoe County Engineering.