Clark County has designated about 400 acres of city-owned land in the Eldorado Valley currently being leased for a solar project delinquent on taxes. No payments have been made since 2012.
The city, however, is not responsible for the tax payments.
The land, designated for Nevada Solar One, has been leased by Acciona. According to the Clark County assessor’s website, the company owes almost $163,000 in unpaid taxes and fees for the fiscal years 2013 to 2017.
Acciona Energy is a subsidiary of Acciona of Madrid, Spain. The company develops renewable energy projects all over the world. Its Nevada Solar One project creates power with near-zero carbon emissions. According to its website and the tax assessor’s report, the local solar project was constructed in 2007.
Sue Manteris, spokesperson for the city, said the lease holder is responsible for paying the taxes on the property even though the city owns the land.
Because of its delinquency, Clark County no longer holds the land in Acciona’s name. It has been deeded into the name of the Clark County treasurer as trustee for the state and the county. This action is done for all property that is delinquent for three consecutive fiscal years, per state law. Once the county treasurer has been named as trustee, the land could be auctioned for not paying the taxes.
“We are looking into the issue right now,” Manteris said. “So far, from what we can tell, it looks like the notices may have been going to wrong addresses. So, we believe these lease holders are probably not aware of the tax notices. The city is working right now on contacting them and the county to let them know what is going on.
“The city is not liable if leaseholder does not pay,” she added. “The city does not lose the land.”
Boulder City could also do something legally should the situation warrant it.
The city does have recourse,” Manteris said. “If leaseholder does not follow through and work with us on good faith and good intentions … but, we believe this is just an instance where these leaseholders are not aware of the issue.”
Manteris added that the city’s lease agreements usually include language stating that if the leaseholders default on taxes or fail to catch up on delinquent taxes, Boulder City could take back the lease.
Acciona did not respond to requests for a comment.
Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.