David Brose: Tax surprise
Like many in our community faced with continual power outages I recently installed an emergency generator at my home to see us through these events. To my surprise I received a questionnaire from the county assessor asking for detailed information on the installation. I called the assessor and was informed the generator was subject to a new property tax assessment. I was told my property tax would increase between $150 to $200 per year.
Incredulous, I contacted Nevada County Supervisor Ed Scofield, who quickly contacted Assessor Sue Horne and got back to me with the news that the tax was imposed by the state of California, not the county. The state determined that permanently installed backup generators were “taxable new construction” by their definition and subject to a property tax assessment.
This is probably one of the most ludicrous situations I can imagine coming from our state government. As if the hardships of fire, power shut-offs and spiraling fire insurance costs have not been enough, to now be burdened with a permanent tax increase just to have an emergency generator is ridiculous, poorly conceived and burdensome. This is analogous to defining a water heater, stove or other appliance as “taxable new construction.”
Nobody told me this was coming when I pulled the permit and my contractor installed it, although they may not have known at the time. This little surprise is about to unexpectedly happen to hundreds of people like me. Many are seniors and others on limited incomes just trying to be able to stay in their homes rather than shelters during power outages.
I have contacted state Sen. Brian Dahle, Assembly member Megan Dahle (as our Board of Supervisors will do, as well) and Gov. Newsom for action and relief from this folly. Although I have not received any responses yet, I will persevere.
Meanwhile I urge all our community members and leaders to contact these state representatives and voice the need for a change. Without a community call for change, nothing will. When a community calls for change, it will.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Darryl Berkheimer’s Aug. 28 column, “Mill St. trims convenience,” addresses the new downtown Grass Valley plaza realistically, citing relevant statistics and trends, not just sharing another opinion.