Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

Number of Pages



The 1981 Nevada Legislature reduced property tax rates in what is known as the “Tax Shift”, whereby cities and counties received less property tax revenue and more sales tax revenue. Nevada made this change to mirror California Proposition 13, along with over forty states nationwide. Furthermore, the property tax rates that could be levied by local governments were “capped.” Nevada also became the only state to depreciate improvements (buildings) in determining the value of property (Tax Topics, 2001). In doing the preceding, Nevada moved from basing its revenue structure on a stable revenue source (property tax), to an unstable revenue source (sales tax). Nearly a quarter of a century later, the Nevada Legislature is likely to limit property taxes again, largely due to sizable short-term increases in the values of property in Southern Nevada. Current proposals are similar to existing limitations in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and California. These states have experienced service delivery and budget crises as a result of these limitations. It is unknown what impacts future property tax limitations will have but a good indicator is an examination of past limitations. This paper evaluates the financial impacts the tax shift has had over the past number of years for local governmental entities in the State of Nevada. Upon reviewing existing literature, there appears to be a void in the available research with regard to property tax limitations within the State of Nevada. The information in this study will assist researchers to better understand the long-term impacts of policy decisions to adopt tax limitations. The data gathered will provide an assessment of the long-term impact of the tax shift on local governments in Nevada. Finally, this data will help determine whether the Tax Shift of 1981 adversely impacted local governments in Nevada.


Local government; Nevada; Property tax; Sales tax; Taxation


Public Administration | Taxation-State and Local

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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