Local Government Fiscal Conditions — Continued
EUREKA COUNTY TAX RATES
The statutory maximum ad valorem tax rate is $3.64 per every $100 of valuation. Eureka County's total property tax rate in FY 2004-05 is 1.9368. This translates to a property tax impact of $677.88 on a home with a $100,000 taxable value (The assessed value, on which the ad valorem tax is levied, is set at 35% of the taxable value). Actual combined tax rates for FY 2002-03 vary according to area within Eureka County. The towns of Crescent Valley and Eureka levy $2.1521, while the Diamond Valley Rodent and Weed Control Districts levy $2.0549
The average overall property tax rate in the county increased by 10.2% from FY 2002-03 to FY 2005-06. Despite the increase in property tax rate, however, Eureka County still has Nevada's lowest average countywide tax rate.
Total Assessed Valuation Falls in 02-03, Then Climbs Again
Since FY 1994-95, total assessed valuation in Eureka County, which consists of the area outside of incorporated towns and contains most of the county's tax base, has dropped from $424,229 million in FY1994-95, to 253.422 million in FY 2002-03, a loss in value of 40%. Assessed valuation climbed again, however, between 2002 and 2006. FY 2005-06 assessed valuation was $539.003 million
Almost all of this loss in assessed value took place between FY 2001-02 and FY 2002-03. This steep drop in countywide assessed value was due to the re-valuation of several gold mining properties. Mines reported that due to lower returns and increased production costs the full cash value of their properties had diminished, and the taxable value of their property exceeded the current full cash value.
Newmont's Leeville Underground Project in northern Eureka County. Newmont is one of the county's principal taxpayers. Photo courtesy of Newmont Mining Corp.
Nevada law does provide for the use of other indicators than those standardly used to determine whether taxable value exceeds full cash value, so following state law and using the information submitted by the mining companies and other analysis, the Eureka County assessor determined that the current estimated value of the properties was substantially lower than the previous estimate (replacement cost new less depreciation value) and certain mining properties were re-valued accordingly.
While total assessed valuation of the towns of Eureka and Crescent Valley are minor compared with the rest of the county, total assessed valuations in the towns have gone up over the FY 1994-95 to FY 2005-06 period. Assessed valuation in Eureka rose from $3.9 million to $8.25 million during the period. In Crescent Valley, total assessed valuation climbed from $1.45 million in 1994-95 to 3.4 million in 1999-2000, but then dropped again to $2.99 million in FY 2005-06. Over the entire FY 1994-95 to FY 2005-06 period, Crescent Valley total assessed valuation increased by 105%, while Town of Eureka total assessed valuation increased by 110%.
In 2005 the county expended a total of $11,223,057, an increase in spending of 25% from 1999. The General Government and Public Safety functions within the County's General Fund, together with the Road Fund are the largest County expenditure categories. General Fund expenditures make up 69.4% of County expenditures. The County spent $71,763 and $125,122 from the Building Operation and Maintenance Reserve Fund in FY 2004 and 2005. No money was spent from the Future reserve Fund in those years. The following line and bar graphs show county expenditures and the expenditure trend for the years 1999 - 2005. (Note: in the bar graph the reserve funds do not show up in years in which expenditures were not made from the funds.) The bar graph shows General Fund expenditures.
The 2005 Comprehensive Annual Report states, "Eureka County collected more revenue than it expended in fiscal year 2005. Prior budget-cutting measures aid the county in maintaining steady expenditure rates."
Principal Eureka Town And Crescent Valley Expenditures Are For Public Works
Public works and public safety are the principal functions of the town of Eureka. Government expenditures; other functions - culture and recreation, general government, capital improvements, health, are a part of County expenditures. Crescent Valley is far from the county seat, so some government functions that are performed by the County in Eureka town are performed by the town in Crescent Valley, and expenditures reflect this. As in the county as a whole, expenditures in both towns have dropped in the previous four years, by 34% in Eureka and 19.5% in Crescent Valley.