Libraries, Tonopah raise tax rates

Property owners in Pahrump were spared a tax hike by the town board this year, but the Pahrump and Beatty library districts both took advantage of available tax cap room to increase their rates. The town of Tonopah also increased its tax rate.

The 2014-15 fiscal year began July 1. The combined tax rate for Pahrump increased from $3.43 per $100 of valuation to $3.44, thanks to an increase in the Pahrump Library District rate from 8.6 cents per $100 to 9.29 cents. Otherwise the town of Pahrump kept its tax rate the same as last year at 44.59 cents per $100 of valuation, after increasing it from 43.08 cents in the 2012-13 fiscal year and a six-cent leap from 37.04 cents the year before that.

The major taxing entities in the county kept their tax rates steady. That includes Nye County, which taxes property at $1.34 per $100 of valuation, the Nye County School District, with a tax rate of $1.33 and the State of Nevada levies a tax of 17 cents per $100. Besides the state, schools, county, town and library district, the Pahrump swimming pool district has a dedicated tax rate of 1.6 cents per $100. The $1.33 Nye County School District rate includes a 75 cent per $100 tax by the state for schools, the remaining 58.5 cents is levied by the local school district.

The $3.44 per $100 tax rate in Pahrump is 20 cents below the state cap of $3.64 per $100 of valuation.

The town of Amargosa Valley kept its tax rate of 49.49 cents per $100 of valuation, residents there exceed the state tax cap with a rate of $3.65 in a community with little commercial property.

Beatty has maintained its town tax rate of 21.05 cents per $100 of valuation. But the Beatty Library District increased its tax rate from 27.41 cents per $100 to 32 cents per $100, increasing the combined tax rate in Beatty from $3.33 to $3.38 per $100, which is still less than the combined Pahrump tax rate.

The town board of Tonopah increased its tax rate from 58.81 cents per $100 of valuation to 60.81 cents. Their combined tax rate went up from $3.64 to $3.65.

The Pahrump Library District tax rate has steadily increased from 6.6 cents per $100 of valuation in fiscal year 2011-12 to 7.8 cents in FY 2012-13 to 8.68 cents last year, to 9.29 cents this year.

“Every year in February the Department of Taxation sends out a letter to all the entities asking how much you’d like to levy,” Librarian Susan Wonderly said. “I always levy the most possible.”

The Pahrump Library District will bring in $563,623 in property taxes in the 2014-15 fiscal year, or $533,276 after abatements, an increase from $509,520 last year and $499,378 in FY 2012-13. Consolidated tax, which is mostly sales tax, will bring in another $103,995, while miscellaneous charges account for another $44,000. All told, the library district will take in $712,618 this year, which when added to the beginning fund balance of $671,195 leaves $1.38 million available.

Salaries account for just over half the Pahrump library budget, $377,470 is allocated for salaries and benefits. Services and supplies account for another 25 percent, capital outlays another 23 percent. Wonderly said the Pahrump library has 14 employees of which only five are full time. Employees got a 2 percent raise, but she added the cost of employee retirement and insurance both went up this year.

Tonopah Town Manager James Eason said his board opted to hike the tax rate as they had a little cushion before hitting the tax cap, their new combined tax rate exceeds that cap but it includes a voter-approved tax override to pay for park improvements. But Eason said the increased tax rate will probably only bring in another $2,000 in revenue, the assessed property values in Tonopah went up $2 million to $33.29 million, which accounts for another $3,000 in revenue. The town budget projects property tax revenues to increase from $151,011 last year to $157,581 this year.

The Nevada Department of Taxation calculates a tax rate of $3.43 per $100 of valuation in Pahrump would equal a tax bill of $1,202 based on a taxable property value of $100,000. That same property value in Amargosa Valley would result in a $1,279 tax payment, while the Beatty property owner would pay $1,167.