CARSON CITY, Nev. (KRNV) — At the Cold Springs Family Center, seniors come to pick up free food and supplies.
Money is tight for them.
"Many of them have to choose between food and their power," said volunteer Beck Marko.
So the last thing these seniors need to be doing is overpaying on their property taxes. But some of them have been.
"We had about six people in the wrong bracket," Marko said. "Those are seniors who could have used that money."
Marko logged on to the Washoe County Assessor's website to help some of the seniors check their tax status after seeing a recent story on News 4 about a state law that requires you to opt-in in order to qualify for the lowest tax rate. She was able to help them get in to the lower bracket.
"Who knew this was out there?" So we appreciate you doing the story," she told us.
Nevada Assemblywoman Danielle Gallant, a republican from Clark County, has introduced a bill which would mandate that the government pay you back if you overpay on your property taxes. Gallant calls it a way of fighting back against government overreach.
The way the law is written there is no requirement that you get a refund.
"That is not money the government is supposed to have and if a mistake was made throughout the process which is flawed, we need to make sure our constituents are paid for that mistake," she said.
After our original story the Washoe County Assessor confirmed to us that 829 people, including one state lawmaker, found they had overpaid because they were in the wrong tax bracket. All it takes is a simple call to the Assessor's office to fix it, but you have to check.
"They must file with our office, a form, sign that form, let us know because there's no way for us to contact every property owner, explained Washoe County Assessor Chris Sarman.
Assemblywoman Gallant says this is a statewide issue. She says she's heard from a number of her constituents in Southern Nevada who say they have overpaid on their property taxes.
"When this first came to light, I couldn't go to the gym without hearing four to five people say you need to fix this," Gallant said.
Her bill, AB 449, has been sent to the Ways and Means Committee for review. She's optimistic it will pass, putting money back in people's pockets, whether it's seniors on fixed incomes, or anyone else.
That's something the lawmaker from Las Vegas feels good about.
"It's nice to have an opportunity to fix something for everyday Nevadans."
The Assessor's office does send out notices that you need to fill out and return. If you don't return it, or if you don't receive one, you will automatically default to the higher tax bracket.
The difference is an 8% annual cap versus a 3% cap.
We'll let you know when that refund bill comes up for a vote.