updated 5/17/2007 9:33:40 AM ET 2007-05-17T13:33:40

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has revised downward the value of a 160-acre property he owns in Arizona in the wake of negative news reports, his 2006 financial disclosure form shows.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

The annual form, released by his office Wednesday, assigns a value of $250,001-$500,000 to the property in Bullhead City near the Nevada-Arizona border. In years past, Reid valued the property at $500,001-$1 million.

A Los Angeles Times story earlier this year questioned how Reid acquired full control of the property. The story noted that Reid had owned it jointly with a pension fund until 2002 when he paid $10,000 for the equivalent of 60 acres - less than one-tenth the assessed value of the property at the time - and got full control.

The pension fund was controlled by a friend of Reid's named Clair Haycock, but Reid aides said the transaction was not a gift.

Assessed versus purchased value
In the early 1990s Reid and Haycock tried to sell the property to California investors for over $1.3 million but the investors defaulted on the sale.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers said that this year Reid advisers decided to report all the properties he owns according to assessed value rather than purchase price. The assessed value of the Bullhead City property is nearly $280,000, according to Mohave County records.

"The value of land in Nevada and that part of Arizona fluctuates because of growth so it seemed to be more accurate to use the tax assessor value rather than the purchase price, because for some areas the purchase price could jump quite a bit," said Summers.

Reid's form also notes that a 2001 appraisal put the value of the Bullhead City property at $160,000. Reid has sought to get the Mohave County assessor to lower the land valuation and reduce his taxes, Summers said.

Reid, a gold miner's son, continued to hang onto portions of about a dozen mining claims in Nevada, including around his hometown of Searchlight. Because of his new approach for reporting the value of his properties, their reported value went up. He valued his Nevada mining claims and other land holdings at $496,000-$1.39 million in 2006, up from $365,015-$875,000 in 2005.

Other finances
Reid also owns a number of school district, county and state bonds that he valued at $830,000-$1.9 million. His pension and profit sharing plan, invested in various index funds, was worth $561,000-$1.3 million. His liabilities consist of a loan from the Harry Reid Ltd. law firm of $50,001-$100,000 and a credit line from Wells Fargo of $15,001-$50,000.

Reid's Senate salary was $183,500 in 2006, his office said.

On another financial disclosure issue, Reid has not yet filed revised financial disclosure forms with the secretary of the Senate to account more fully for a Las Vegas land deal that allowed him to collect $1.1 million for property he hadn't personally owned in three years.

Last October, soon after the AP reported on the 2001 deal, Reid announced plans to revise his financial disclosure forms. Summers said Reid's staff submitted revised forms to the Ethics Committee in November and is still waiting for signoff from the committee before filing them.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments