LAS VEGAS -- More than half a million taxpayer dollars is spent on something most Las Vegans will throw away. The annual property tax assessment roll is being delivered to some Nevada homes. The I-Team investigates who is making money off of this.
If you're a subscriber to the Review-Journal, the assessment roll was delivered to your home Tuesday or will arrive on Wednesday. It's a massive amount of paper that lists the value of every Clark County property. It's information that anyone can find for free on the Internet or at a library.
"This year the cost is approximately $581,000," Clark County Assessor Michele Shafe said.
More than 100,000 southern Nevadans got a home-delivered reminder from the Clark County assessor and now Shafe's office is catching the criticism.
"We're getting phone calls today asking why this is necessary? Why we're publishing this, why it's in the RJ on the driveway. We have to let them know, it's a state law," Shafe said.
In this day of searchable Internet databases, and free libraries, it is still state law to print out all 713,000 properties. The Review-Journal gets paid 81 cents to print each of those properties in tiny print and deliver it to subscribers at county taxpayer expense.
The assessment roll weighs in at 4.5 pounds. Do some math and that comes out to 750,000 pounds of news print. Las Vegas Assemblyman Paul Aizley has tried and failed three times to convince his fellow lawmakers that printing the special paper is unnecessary. The Nevada Newspaper Association lobbied to keep the printing requirement on the books.
The Review-Journal's editor in chief said he did not know how much profit the paper is making on the printing and added that information may be proprietary.
Legislative supporters of the printing requirement say it's needed because not everybody has the Internet at home. Aizley argues that more people have web access than subscribe to the newspaper.
"If this money was needed to subsidize the newspaper business, then they should ask the state government for a subsidy. That way we wouldn't produce this 25 million pages of copy that eventually ends up in a landfill," he said.
"I pick it up out of my driveway and put in the recycling bin," Shafe said.
There were six assembly members who voted to keep the printing requirement law. Here are their names: