As a realtor who works both sides of Lake Tahoe, I like to share with my clients the tax differences between the California and the Nevada side of the lake. As many people know, Nevada has no state income tax, no tax on inheritance, and no pension tax. But property tax bills can present similarly significant savings on the Nevada side of lake Tahoe.

Two lakefront properties that are currently for sale present an excellent example of how this is possible.  One is on the California side of the lake in Star Harbor, a marina just outside of Tahoe City fed by a year-round creek, with natural water features, and floating docks (in a good water year). It's Unit 20, pictured here, a beautifully remodeled lakefront 3-bedroom priced a bit above $1.5 million.

Views of Lake Tahoe from Crystal Shores, Incline Village, NVBoth offer outstanding views ...

Lake Tahoe view from Star Harbor

Both are priced around $1.5 million, and both feature private marinas, where residents can enjoy the convenience of docking their boats near their doorsteps (think: no dingy back and forth to your buoy). The Nevada condo, also features full access to Incline Village's amenity package, which includes access to three private beaches at Lake Tahoe (one with a children's pool and another with a boat launch), a terrific recreation center with an indoor heated lap pool, and resident pricing for golf and skiing. 

Crystal Shores Condo, Incline Village, NV  But when it comes to property taxes, the California condo will be re-assessed at market value when it changes hands, and the new property taxes will increase to about 1 percent of the sales price. California counties also attach a "supplemental" tax bill to make up for the difference between the prior assessed value of the property, and the new purchase price. (If the Star Harbor condo sold for $1.5 million, the supplement bills would equal one-time payments of about $6,600 on top of the regular taxes calculated at the new market value. Click here for a calculator to estimate supplemental tax bills for Placer County, which covers most of North Shore and the California lakeside neighborhoods.)   The Nevada property will change hands with a tax bill of $4,807 a year, and thanks to the fact that Washoe County does not reassess properties at market value, buyers won't see the sort of doubling that can happen on the California side. In Washoe County, which covers Incline Village and Crystal Bay, property taxes are assessed by taking the land at market value plus the replacement cost of the home or condo, minus depreciation. (And if it's your primary residence, there is a cap on the amount the tax can go up every year.)

Lake Tahoe … it’s one lake, two states, four counties, a dozen cities, and hundreds of neighborhoods. Your real estate goals don’t stop at the state line. Why should your realtor?          As a member of the Tahoe Sierra, Incline, and Northern Nevada listing services, I can offer unparalleled service and local knowledge from Truckee, to Tahoe to Reno.  Please call anytime with questions. ~ Jackie


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