Justia Tax Law Opinion Summaries
Articles Posted in Nevada Supreme Court
In 2007, the Nevada Tax Commission (NTC) promulgated Nev. Admin. Code 361.61038, which set forth an apportionment formula for calculating remainder-parcel property values for purposes of Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.4722. Respondent owned a parcel that was divided from a larger piece of land before the regulation's enactment and was properly characterized as a "remainder parcel" under section 361.4722(6). Appellant, the county assessor, valued the land under the approach he used before section 361.61038 was enacted. Respondent appealed, seeking application of the new regulation's apportionment formula. The NTC upheld the assessor's valuation and declined to apply its new regulation retroactively. The district court reversed the judgment of the NTC and directed it to apply section 361.61038 to Respondent's remainder parcel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, in this case, (1) application of the regulation would be impermissibly retroactive; and (2) the methods the assessor used did not violate the Constitution. View "County of Clark v. LB Props., Inc." on Justia Law
Posted in: Constitutional Law, Government & Administrative Law, Nevada Supreme Court, Real Estate & Property Law, Tax Law
After the Department of Taxation denied Respondent's claim for a refund of overpaid taxes, Respondent appealed. The matter reached the Supreme Court, which concluded that Respondent was entitled to a tax refund. Respondent then filed a motion for judgment on the refund, arguing that it was entitled to pre- and post-judgment interest. The district court granted Respondent's request for pre- and post-judgment interest. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Respondent did not waive its right to seek interest by failing to demand interest in its initial tax refund claim; and (2) the Department may not withhold interest on tax refunds when it has failed to timely make a determination under Nev. Rev. Stat. 372.665 whether Respondent's overpayment of taxes had been made intentionally or by reason of carelessness. View "State Dep't of Taxation v. Masco Builder Cabinet Group" on Justia Law
Respondents, the county board of county commissioners and county treasurer, attempted to provide refunds to property owners who paid excessive property taxes due to improper appraisals. To cover the cost of the refunds, Respondents withheld amounts from property tax distributions made to various county taxing units that had previously benefited from the excessive property taxes. Appellant, one of the taxing units from which distribution amounts were withheld, petitioned for a writ of mandamus compelling Respondents to cease withholding portions of the distributions. The district court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's order denying extraordinary relief, holding that Respondents were within their authority to withhold distributions, and because the manner in which they withheld distributions was discretionary, the political question doctrine precluded judicial review. View "N. Lake Tahoe Fire Prot. Dist. v. Washoe County Bd. of County Comm'rs" on Justia Law
Posted in: Government & Administrative Law, Nevada Supreme Court, Real Estate & Property Law, Tax Law
Respondent owned four parcels of real property in Clark County. Respondent challenged the Clark County Assessor's assessment for the tax year 2011-2012 with the County Board of Equalization, which lowered the valuation. Clark County in turn appealed the revised assessment to the State Board of Equalization, which increased the valuation. Respondent ultimately petitioned the district court in Carson City for judicial review. Clark County and the Assessor filed a motion for change of venue, contending that the action should be maintained in the district court in Clark County because Respondent's property was located outside of Carson City. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the statute provides that a property owner with property located in any county in the State may file a property tax valuation action in any district court in the state; and (2) the Carson City district court was an appropriate venue for filing the property tax valuation challenge because it was a court of competent jurisdiction as required by Nev. Rev. Stat. 361.420(2). View " County of Clark v. Howard Hughes Co., LLC" on Justia Law
Posted in: Government & Administrative Law, Nevada Supreme Court, Real Estate & Property Law, Tax Law
Chrysler Group, LLC, a motor vehicle manufacturer, reimbursed two buyers of defective vehicles the full purchase price, including sales tax, pursuant to Nevada's lemon law. Thereafter, Chrysler sought refunds of the sales taxes that the vehicles' retailers had collected and remitted when they originally sold the vehicles to the buyers. The Department of Taxation had previously refunded lemon law sales tax reimbursements to manufacturers but denied Chrysler's refund requests because the state attorney general's office advised the Department that there was no statutory authority for such refunds. The district court concluded that Chrysler was entitled to a refund. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Nevada law did not allow for such a refund and the Department was not required to adhere to its prior erroneous interpretation of the law. View "State, Dep't of Taxation v. Chrysler Group LLC" on Justia Law
In March 2006, the Washoe County Board of Equalization adjusted the property tax values of approximately 300 Incline Village and Crystal Bay taxpayers based on a determination that those properties' taxable values had been improperly assessed. The County Board determined that rolling back the 300 properties' taxable values had created an unequal rate of taxation for the 2006-2007 tax year and acted to fix the error. The Washoe County Assessor administratively appealed the equalization decision to the State Board of Equalization, but the State Board did not immediately consider the appeal because this court had imposed a stay temporarily enjoining the rollbacks pending a decision in a related appeal concerning the assessment methods. After the State Board ruled on Washoe County's motion, the Assessor made several objections to the taxpayers' involvement in the proceedings. Pertinent to this appeal, the Assessor argued that: (1) The Village League to Save Incline Assets, Inc., did not have standing to appear on behalf of any of the taxpayers; (2) any taxpayer not represented by counsel, absent from the State Board proceedings without an excuse, or represented by Village League should not be recognized as a party; and (3) none of the 300 taxpayers who previously obtained rollbacks should be recognized as parties. The issue before the Supreme Court pertained to the Nevada Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requirement that a petitioner name, as respondents to a petition for judicial review of an administrative decision, "all parties of record." Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that a party must strictly comply with the APA naming requirement as a prerequisite to invoking the district court's jurisdiction. Thus, when a petitioner fails to name in its petition each party of record to the underlying administrative proceedings, the petition is jurisdictionally defective and must be dismissed. Further, if the petitioner fails to invoke the district court's jurisdiction by naming the proper parties within the statutory time limit, the petition may not subsequently be amended to cure the jurisdictional defect. View "Washoe County v. Otto" on Justia Law
Taxpayer requested a tax refund from the Nevada Department of Taxation without filing a formal refund claim based on an understanding Taxpayer had with the Department. The Department denied the request. Taxpayer then filed a formal refund claim as part of a petition for redetermination. An ALJ determined that Taxpayer was entitled to a refund despite its late filing of the formal refund claim. The Tax Commission reversed, concluding that Taxpayer's failure to timely file a formal refund claim rendered a portion of its refund request time-barred. The district court reinstated the ALJ's determination that Taxypayer was entitled to a refund, concluding that the Tax Commission had improperly substituted its own judgment for that of the ALJ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Tax Commission improperly substituted its own judgment for that of the ALJ in reversing the ALJ's determination; and (2) because the Tax Department played an active role in causing Taxpayer's formal refund claim to be untimely, the statute of limitations was equitably tolled during the time in which the Department hindered Taxpayer from filing its formal written claim.
American Home Shield of Nevada (AHS) sought a refund on insurance premium taxes it had erroneously paid on service contracts for four years exempt from taxation under statute. The department of taxation granted AHS a refund for two years but denied AHS a refund for the other years based on a statutory one-year limitations period. The department also denied AHS interest. The district court granted AHS's petition for judicial review, concluding that (1) Humboldt County v. Lander County obligated the department to refund the taxes, and (2) Nev. Rev. Stat. 360.2935 entitled AHS to interest. The Supreme Court reversed the district court's order granting the petition for judicial review, holding (1) the department did not err when it determined that AHS's refund taxes for certain years were barred by the one-year limitation period, (2) the district court's reliance on Humboldt County in determining that AHS was entitled to a refund of all of its erroneous tax payments was misplaced, and (3) because Nev. Rev. Stat. 680B.120 is the applicable statute governing AHS's refund request and it does not provide for interest, the district court erred by determining that AHS was entitled to interest on its refunds.
This appeal arose out of an ongoing conflict between Washoe County and certain taxpayers in Incline Village and Crystal Bay regarding property tax valuation, equalization, and collection. At issue was whether the district court properly issued a writ of mandamus requiring the county treasurer to refund excess taxes paid by the respondent taxpayers for the 2006-2007 tax year. The taxpayers paid the excess taxes because of a stay imposed in a pending appeal challenging a prior year's assessments. The Supreme Court held that (1) the district court properly issued the writ of mandamus because the taxpayers paid more than was due and typical administrative remedies to recover overpaid taxes do not apply where the taxpayers were successful at all levels below; and (2) the treasurer had a duty to refund the excess taxes pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 360.2935.
Confronting a statewide budget crisis, the Nevada Legislature undertook several revenue-adjustment and cost cutting measures in an effort to balance the State's budget. Those measures were codified in Assembly Bill 6 (AB 6). In this appeal, the Supreme Court was asked whether parts of AB 6 violated the Nevada Constitution. The disputed section of the bill applied only to Appellant Clean Water Coalition (CWC), and converted money collected as user fees into a tax. The CWC used moneys it collected from households and businesses to implement the Systems Conveyance and Operations Program (SCOP) which involved the planning, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a regional system to convey effluent from existing and future wastewater treatment facilities to its outfall in the Colorado River system. The CWC collected fees from 2002 until 2010. SCOP was tabled, and the funds collected for the wastewater facilities were transferred to the State's General Fund. M Resort and other businesses that had paid the fees sued the State, challenging the conversion of the CWC fees into what they argued was essentially a special tax. "Special taxes" are prohibited by the state constitution. The Supreme Court held that because AB 6 "burdens only the CWC in its efforts to raise revenue for the state, it is an impermissible local and special tax" under the state constitution. The Court found AB 6 unconstitutional.
Posted in: Constitutional Law, Energy, Oil & Gas Law, Government & Administrative Law, Nevada Supreme Court, Tax Law