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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.

David Brose

Grass Valley


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