By Associated Press - Thursday, April 1, 2021

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada county school board voted unanimously to fight a Washoe County Commission decision to hold the school district responsible for repaying a portion of a multimillion dollar settlement with Incline Village property owners.

In February, the county commission voted to hold the Washoe County School District responsible for $20 million out of a $57 million settlement, the Reno Gazette Journal reported Wednesday.

The decision means the school district will have to repay $10 million in taxes and $10 million in interest and legal fees.

The settlement stems from a series of lawsuits by Incline Village residents who were overcharged on their property taxes by the county, the outlet reported.

The district’s legal counsel, Neil Rombardo, said the county should not be allowed to hold the school district accountable for its own error.

“Not only are we going to take the $10 (million) you got, we are going to take another $10 (million),” Rombardo said about the decision. “They don’t have the legal authority to do it.”

Other trustees also condemned the commissioners for their decision to pin some money on the school district.

“We can’t afford not to do this,” Trustee Kurt Thigpen said of taking legal action against the county. “We have an obligation to fight this tooth and nail.”

“I’m extremely disappointed my county commissioners a long time ago did not rectify this,” added Trustee Diane Nicolet.

Rombardo said he plans to file a motion to prohibit the county from taking the school district’s money.

Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey said the school district is not being unfairly targeted.

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