SB10 Testimony (Property Taxes)

Daniel Honchariw

re: Testimony in Opposition to Senate Bill 10 of the 2021 Nevada Legislature

Members of the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development:

NPRI vehemently opposes Senate Bill 10—an effort to increase property-tax revenues when struggling Nevadans can least afford it—and urges each member of this committee to do the same.

This past year has been an absolute nightmare regarding the once-cherished property rights of Nevadans. We’ve witnessed—via unchallenged, gubernatorial decrees—forced business lockdowns, limits on in-person gatherings within private residences and places of worship, and an apparently unceasing eviction moratorium which functions to compound the damage already waged upon landlords—including mom-and-pops—across the state.

These unprecedented and likely unconstitutional attacks against Nevadans’ property rights have, simultaneously, been greeted by a slew of additional proposals by the 2021 Nevada Legislature which would further, and substantively, reduce landlords’ rights to govern their own property (e.g., AB141, AB161, AB317, SB218). Each of these proposals, in some way, seeks to further restrict an owner’s right to manage their property as they best see fit.

Property rights are integral to our economic system—the mere idea of ownership is what makes capitalism work so well—yet this proposal seems not to acknowledge the effect this will have upon the state regarding efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing in Nevada—an issue I suspect concerns each member of this committee.

Continuing to dilute the property rights historically afforded to Nevadans, in conjunction with increased property-tax burdens, will surely act as a disincentive to prospective developers. This means fewer new developments, reduced supply, and increased rental pricing. At its core, NPRI perceives the “affordable housing” issue as one that has been sparked primarily due to a lack of housing supply. All efforts should be made to reduce the burden to develop so as to increase the supply of housing. This bill proposes the opposite.

Finally, we perceive no need for additional tax revenues at this time. Governor Sisolak submitted a balanced budget, local governments are in much better fiscal shape than once feared, and the Feds just gave us more than $4 billion to assist with the COVID-19 void—an amount nearly equal to Nevada’s annual General Fund spending.

Again, NPRI urges this committee to oppose Senate Bill 10. Nevadans cannot afford it.

 

Respectfully,

Daniel Honchariw, MPA
Nevada Policy Director of Legislative Affairs
Daniel Honchariw

Daniel Honchariw

Director of Legislative Affairs

Daniel Honchariw joined the Nevada Policy Research Institute in May 2016. He focuses mostly on fiscal and education (school choice) issues, and has also published extensively on the abuses of civil asset forfeiture. His work has been featured and/or cited by in-state and national publications including USA Today, The New Yorker, Reason, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Prior to joining, Daniel had been a lifelong California resident. His experience includes stints with the National Labor Relations Board, multiple financial services firms, and a Tahoe-based ski resort. He is a sports fanatic, political junkie, and chess enthusiast.

Daniel holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University (’09) and an M.P.A. in Public Management from California State University, Dominguez Hills (’14).