A Message to Our Community from IVGID’s General Counsel Jason D. Guinasso, Esq.

IVGID Statement Regarding 87 Unbuildable Tax Delinquent Properties Acquired From Washoe County in October of 2012 And The Subsequent Sale of Three Properties Related Thereto Between 2012 and 2015. 

Over the last several weeks, IVGID has received several inquiries regarding 87 Unbuildable Tax Delinquent Properties most of which are within the Bitterbrush subdivision (herein after referenced as the “Bitterbrush Properties”) acquired from Washoe County in October of 2012 and the subsequent sale of three properties related thereto between 2012 and 2015.

Inquiries came from two members of the community as well as a Washoe County Commissioner.  Additionally, on December 21, 2017, the Reno Gazette Journal published a report about the acquisition and sale of the Bitterbrush properties. 

Because of the renewed interest in these 87 Unbuildable Tax Delinquent Properties Acquired from Washoe County in October of 2012, District General Counsel provided a report to the IVGID Board on December 13, 2017.  See video clip of entire report here:

View full meeting here: https://livestream.com/IVGID/events/7976407/videos/167213764 (livestream approximately 4:12).  This statement will repeat many of the factual points made in District General Counsel’s report and provide clarification regarding the acquisition and sale of Bitterbrush properties for interested members of the public.

Acquisition of the Non-buildable Tax Delinquent Properties

In 2012, IVGID acquired 87 unbuildable tax delinquent properties from Washoe County in accordance with NRS 361.603.  Most of the acquired properties were originally a part of the Bitterbrush Subdivision.  As explained in a July 31, 2012 Board Memorandum, the primary interest in these parcels was that 69 of the parcels were carried on the Recreation Roll and as such impacted IVGID’s annual budget. The impact was that they were shown as owed and were never collected therefore IVGID’s Recreation Roll revenue never matched what was actually paid.

By acquiring the properties, the District’s stated the objective was to put itself in a position to have an accurate Recreation Roll.  In this regard, unless and until IVGID owned the property, IVGID was stuck with counting the uncollectable fees from these unbuildable tax delinquent properties as a part of its budget and again never having the Recreation Roll revenue match what was actually paid.

Importantly, the Bitterbrush properties are considered unbuildable, and remain so today, and lack any value other than the recreational and beach privileges attached to them.  The acquisition of the Bitterbrush properties allowed IVGID to accomplish three important objectives that serve the public’s interest: (1) Recover delinquent fees; (2) Re-instate the properties back onto the Recreation Roll with property owners who would pay the recreation and beach facility fees and taxes to Washoe County; and (3) Retain an interest in property within its jurisdiction that currently has no other market value other than the fact that the property retains Recreational and Beach privileges.  Additionally, the Bitterbrush properties, because they are unbuildable, would always remain open space whether they remained IVGID property or were sold after acquisition.

IVGID’s Authority to Acquire and Sell Property

NRS 318.160 gives the Board authority to acquire, dispose of and encumber property.   In this regard, the statute provides:

The board shall have the power to acquire, dispose of and encumber real and personal property, and any interest therein, including leases, easements, and revenues derived from the operation thereof. The constitutional and inherent powers of the legislature are hereby delegated to the board for the acquisition, disposal and encumbrance of property; but the board shall in no case receive title to property already devoted to public purpose or use, except with the consent of the owners of such property, and except upon approval of a majority of the board.”

In addition, IVGID’s Board of Trustees, back in 2009, adopted Policy 16.1.1, Recreation Roll, which specifically states, in paragraph 5. ,the following:

An unbuildable parcel that has been removed from the Recreation Roll by petition can be restored to the Recreation Roll, and thereby have recreation privileges restored by first paying the total amount of recreation and, if applicable Beach Fees that had been levied since the parcel was taken off the Recreation Roll, plus any fees or penalties permitted by the State of Nevada as defined in Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 99.040(1).

With regard to acquisition of the Bitterbrush properties, IVGID Staff was given specific direction from the IVGID Board of Trustees on August 8, 2012, to acquire the Bitterbrush properties from Washoe County. The Washoe County Commissioners had also unanimously approved the acquisition.

After the properties where acquired, IVGID sold three properties, including:

APN 126-294-28 (400 Fairview Blvd.)

  • Purchase Contract was entered into on January 3, 2014.
  • Closed March 3, 2014
  • Sale price: $14,095
  • Sale price was based on back Recreation and Beach facility fees owed to IVGID at time of sale consistent with IVGID Policy 16.1
  • No HOA dues owed
  • No back taxes owed to Washoe County because Washoe County waived its rights to collect delinquent taxes when it transferred the property to IVGID.    

APN 126-294-29 (400 Fairview Blvd.)

  • Purchase Contract was entered into on June 27, 2014
  • Closed July 18, 2014
  • Sale price: $14,095
  • Sale price was based on back Recreation and Beach facility fees owed to IVGID at time of sale consistent with IVGID Policy 16.1.
  • No HOA dues owed
  • No back taxes owed to Washoe County because Washoe County waived its rights to collect delinquent taxes when it transferred the property to IVGID

APN 126-294-18 (400 Fairview Blvd.)

  • Purchase Contract entered into on November 20, 2015
  • Closed December 10, 2015
  • Sale price: $17,152.55
  • Sale price was based on back Recreation and Beach facility fees owed to IVGID at time of sale consistent with Policy 16.1.
  • No HOA dues owed
  • No back taxes owed to Washoe County because Washoe County waived its rights to collect delinquent taxes when it transferred the property to IVGID

It should be noted, as an example of one of the sold parcels, that when acquired the past due amount of $11,059.42 consisted of $10,148 due to IVGID in past due Recreation Roll fees and $911.42 in past due taxes due to Washoe County which Washoe County waived at the time of transfer. This is important information for the public to know because the media reports could lead a reader to believe that the entire amount of the delinquent tax obligations on the Bitterbrush properties was due and owing to Washoe County.  In this regard, Washoe County collects IVGID’s Recreation and Beach Fees via the Washoe County tax bill, so if IVGID were to pay back the $11,059.42 in total on the parcel in the forgoing example then Washoe County would be required to write a check payable to IVGID for $10,148 and would only keep the remaining $911.42

With regard to the foregoing referenced sales, IVGID Staff exercised its authority to consummate contracts valued under $50,000 under IVGID Policy 3.1.0(f).  This policy states:

Contracts. Contracts entered into by the District that are required to be advertised under Nevada Revised Statutes 332 and/or 338 must be approved by the Board of Trustees. All documents approved or awarded by the Board shall be signed in the name of the District by the Chair and countersigned by the Secretary, unless authorization to sign is given to another person(s) by the Board.

Contracts, other than those covered by Nevada Revised Statutes 332.115 and which are not subject to the advertising thresholds of Nevada Revised Statutes 332 and/or 338, may be authorized, approved and executed by the General Manager of the District or designee, unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Trustees.

Contracts covered by Nevada Revised Statutes 332.115 may be authorized, approved and executed by the General Manager or his designee of the District, if it is for an amount less than the advertising threshold of Nevada Revised Statute 332. Contracts over the threshold of NRS 322.115 must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

However, after the conclusion of the last sale in 2015, IVGID Staff determined that further thought needed to be given to the process and procedure for selling the Bitterbrush properties and consulted with District General Counsel.  In response, District General Counsel recommended that a moratorium be placed on the sales of the acquired properties until such time as a more detailed policy could be drafted and presented to the IVGID Board of Trustees regarding a process and procedure for receiving offers and approving contracts for the sale of acquired tax delinquent properties from Washoe County.  In this regard, IVGID Staff and District General Counsel agreed to include the drafting of a policy as a part of the District’s effort to update and codify its policies, practices and procedures into the IVGID Code.  Since December of 2015, there have not been any sales of the Bitterbrush properties and a draft framework of the IVGID code is slated for presentation to the IVGID Board of Trustees in February of 2018.

The Properties That Were Sold Were Sold In Accordance With The Normal Process For Selling Property.

Contrary to the narrative published to the public through various media outlets, the sale of Bitterbrush Properties were not “quiet” or “secret” or done without IVGID Board of Trustees oversight.  In this regard, a real estate agent reached out to IVGID to inquire as to whether any of the property it owned in the Bitterbrush subdivision was available for purchase.   All the requisite documents for consummating the sale were signed, an escrow was completed, and the transfer of the deeds were recorded.  At no time during this process did Washoe County assert an interest in the properties or otherwise require a payment for delinquent taxes. 

Thereafter, the properties were placed back onto the Recreation Rolls in accordance with IVGID Board Policy 16.1.1.  Additionally, the sales of these properties were reported to the IVGID Board of Trustees through the normal budgeting and reporting process.  In this regard, these sales were referenced in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) presented to and approved by the IVGID Board of Trustees and submitted to the State. See

The sales were also addressed in the 2014 Budget Work Session, page 3, Item 15: https://www.yourtahoeplace.com/uploads/pdf-ivgid/bot_packet_special_5_6_2014.pdf (page 4 of the pdf)

The sales of the Bitterbrush properties was common knowledge to many in the community.  For example, the issue was discussed by candidates running for the IVGID Board of Trustees with IVGID staff.  There is a October 1, 2014, e-mail string between candidates for IVGID Trustee, sitting Trustees, and IVGID Staff.

IVGID Did Not Misrepresent to Washoe County the Purposes for Acquiring the Bitterbrush Properties.

In a letter dated December 18, 2017, the Washoe County District Attorney did not dispute that the sale of the Bitterbrush property was within IVGID’s legal authority.  Rather, the Washoe County District Attorney asserted that the sale should have resulted in delinquent taxes being repaid to Washoe County under NRS 361.603(4).  This argument hinges on the Washoe County District Attorney’s stated assumption that IVGID somehow misrepresented the purposes for which it acquired the Bitterbrush properties - this assumption is false.  No misrepresentation about the purposes for acquiring the property where made at the time of acquisition or anytime thereafter and remember, as stated above, about 90% of the fees owed on each parcel is IVGID’s Recreation Fees.

When IVGID Staff spoke with the Washoe County Treasurer’s Office about the possibility of claiming the lots off the tax rolls, IVGID Staff explained that IVGID was interested in possibly selling the lots in order to recover delinquent fees. IVGID Staff then inquired if part of the transaction with Washoe County to acquire the Bitterbrush properties needed to include either a process or understanding of how that would be accomplished.  Additionally, staff asked if IVGID would be required to make sure Washoe County received delinquent taxes if it sold any of the Bitterbrush properties after they were transferred to IVGID.  IVGID emphasized that it was open to whatever might be necessary to have back taxes distributed if that was a term of sales.  However, when the final deeds were completed and delivered to IVGID by Washoe County, there were no deed restrictions. Having noticed this fact, IVGID Staff contacted the Washoe County Treasurer’s office and inquired about what had ultimately been decided. IVGID Staff was informed that the Washoe County District Attorney had advised the Washoe County Treasurer to issue the deeds free and clear, with no provision for recovery of the delinquent taxes. At the time of the sales, Washoe County did not contact IVGID to assert any interest in collecting delinquent taxes.

Notably, since the last sale in December of 2015, no one from Washoe County’s staff or the Washoe County District Attorney’s office attempted to speak with anyone at IVGID about the sales of the Bitterbrush properties or any concerns related thereto prior to sending this letter.

The buyers of each of these three unbuildable parcels own property in either Crystal Bay (2) or Rocky Point (1) and through the acquisition of these unbuildable parcels are now paying Recreation Fees and Washoe County property taxes on two parcels each for a total of six parcels instead of three parcels i.e. their original parcel where their residence sits and the purchased unbuildable parcel. At the time of purchase of the unbuildable parcels, all buyers understood that the parcels they were purchasing were unbuildable and will remain that way in perpetuity.

The residents who own parcels in Crystal Bay pay a reduced Recreation Fee from those residents who own parcels in Incline Village. The reduced Recreation Fee is because the parcel owners in Crystal Bay do not have access to the restricted access beaches located within Incline Village and the determination to waive that access, when it was offered during the merging of Crystal Bay General Improvement District into the Incline Village General Improvement District, was done by its citizen representatives in an open public meeting during merger proceedings. That waiver remains in place today and all real estate professionals within the area explain that difference to all who are looking to acquire property in either community.

Concluding Remarks

IVGID has not violated any law or acted in any way to harm the public.  The Bitterbrush properties were legally acquired.  Thereafter, three of the Bitterbrush properties acquired were sold.  The Washoe County Assessor label of unbuildable associated with the Bitterbrush properties will remain preserved in perpetuity because the properties in question are unbuildable and have no other value other than the Recreation and Beach privileges associated with them.  In addition to the stated public purpose being preserved, IVGID continues to have the ability to serve the important public purpose of recovering delinquent fees and reinstating these properties onto the recreation roll.  It has been three years since the last property was sold because IVGID has placed a moratorium on the sale of the properties until a process and procedure for sales is adopted by the Board.   Accordingly, IVGID will not sell any of the Bitterbrush properties until an updated policy can be prepared, considered, and approved, in an open publicly noticed meeting, by the IVGID Board of Trustees. 

While it is unfortunate that all the forgoing factual information has been ignored by IVGID’s critics and was not otherwise included in the media reports, IVGID maintains its commitment to transparency in government.  IVGID welcomes any and all questions from the public which can be sent to IVGID at info@ivgid.org or directly to your IVGID District General Manager Steve Pinkerton at sjp@ivgid.org.

For additional information and support documentation, please click here, or see individual documents below: