Highest rate, average taxes

Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart couldn’t keep quiet Tuesday after his fellow commissioner, Tom Mielke, said during a public meeting that the county has the highest property taxes in the state.

That’s not true.

The county does, as reported last year following a August report from the state Department of Revenue, have the highest average property tax levy rate in the state.

As for property taxes, the average single-family residential property tax bill in Clark County increased from $2,573 in 2010 to $2,707 to 2011.

That put the county on point with the statewide average tax bill, which was $2,718.

After Mielke finished talking, Stuart jumped in to clarify. You know, for the benefit of the folks watching at home on CVTV who might hear Mielke say that the county has the highest property taxes in the state and be inclined to believe him.

In a budget-based system, when property values go down the rates have to go up. The fact that Clark County has the highest rates reflects how hard the housing market crashed, Stuart said.

“That’s why the rate went up, because of how hard we got hit,” Stuart said.

Mielke did not respond, and Chairman Marc Boldt got the meeting back on track.

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