County juggles legality of Prop. 13 |

County juggles legality of Prop. 13

About 50 taxpaying homeowners attended a recent county Board of Supervisors’ meeting. They were there wanting to hear Dale Flippin, assessor, and Charles McKee, county counsel, explain how Proposition 13’s rate limit “not to exceed 2 percent in any given year” could be legally reconciled with the large percentage increases in Nevada County.

This tax issue on the 9:15 a.m. Feb. 26 agenda finally came up more than an hour later after the morning recess. Several homeowners had to leave because of other commitments.

First, we saw slides with graphs as Mr. Flippin explained how lean economic years needed additional revenue to have a balanced 2 percent increase. After the slide show, Charles McKee used most of the available time allocated for this issue with his dissertation on the use of our tax money.

After Peter Van Zant challenged Mike Lasich’s right to speak for the taxpayers and Bruce Conklin wondered what the fuss was about since everyone pays taxes, some things were accomplished:

1. We learned that our taxes are raised in violation of the Constitution because “other counties are doing it.”

2. The county Board of Supervisors learned that it is also the local Board of Equalization. We hope its members have access to the Constitution and the Revenue and Taxation Code, especially Sections 1601-1615. Nevada County needs a functioning appeals system as mandated by the state.

3. A proper form will be provided by the end of March so that homeowners can have claims on file before the statute of limitations runs out.

Walt Roden

Nevada City

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