Jim Shirk: Facts and opinions
April 26, 2015
Editor's note: The Nevada Appeal presented the Carson City Board of Supervisors, the mayor and city manager an opportunity for a column. Supervisor Karen Abowd will appear next Sunday:
John Barrette said to me: "If someone doesn't throw stones (criticize, whatever) at me at least once a day I don't figure I'm worth much."
Surprisingly, I do have something in common with John.
The Capitol Mall Project
This project has not been presented to me. What I have learned on my own and from the Appeal's recent articles: It's to be privately funded and built on private property owned by a foundation/business. If this is the case, then I would support such a project.
If city owned property is involved, then it's no longer a private project, rather it's a private/public project and complete objectivity may no longer exist.
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Change is inevitable and is continuing to occur in Carson City. The attraction of new businesses seems to have spurred the acceleration of change. Approved projects include the narrowing of Carson Street, Animal Shelter, Multi-Purpose Athletic Center and the planned Capitol Mall project now looms on the horizon. Soon there will be a number of ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
There are many unmanageable influences that impact Carson City's economy. However, policymakers can help the economy prosper by assisting entrepreneurs, employers and taxpayers who live here or move to Carson City.
Property Tax Rate Reduction
The reduction in property tax rate, is being sold as a tax cut. The majority of citizens believe since the Board lowered the property tax rate property owners should see a reduction in their property taxes. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Prior to 2005, property taxes were determined by multiplying the assessed value by the tax rate.
In 2005, the Nevada Legislature passed AB489 or the property Tax Cap Law, which declared property taxes on a single-family (owner occupied) residence, may not increase more than 3 percent from one year to the next.
Today, property taxes are calculated by first multiplying the assessed value by the tax rate. This figure is then compared to the amount of taxes that were paid previously, plus the 3 percent increase. The lower amount is due.
Example: a home sold in 2014 for $121,500 has a taxable value of $95,646; the taxes are $1,178.36 without a cap. With last year's tax rate of $3.54 per $100 of assessed value, the capped taxes on this home would have been $1.019.16.
This year's tax rate of $3.52 per $100 of assessed value and with a 3 percent increase would make the taxes $1,049.73.
The capped taxes of $1,049.73 are lower than the $1,178.36 without a cap; therefore, $1,049.73 would be the taxes for 2015/2016.
Basically, lowering your tax rate did nothing to put money in your wallet.
Citizen Boards, Committees & Commissions
It has been said: Who the President of the United States appoints to the Supreme Court will affect the entire country.
The same can be said of the Board of Supervisors appointments, as they will affect the entire community.
Carson City citizens interested in voluntarily serving on the Visitors Bureau, Cultural Resources, Debt Management, Planning Commission or one of the other many advisory boards, committees and commissions, can have that opportunity if appointed by the Board of Supervisors. As representatives on one of these committees, they will perform a valuable community service by using their skills, interests and initiatives to make recommendations to the Board.
Volunteers are one of the most important support groups in a successful community. Citizens who take on these positions are essential to the well-being of the community.
The Board relies heavily on citizens to attend these meetings and make comments on key projects, as their input is valuable.
All meetings should be held in the Carson City Community Center Sierra Room and televised with a start time of 5:30 p.m., which allows citizens the best window of opportunity to attend.
On Jan. 20, 1961, at his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country."
To volunteer for your community call City Hall at 887-2100.
Ward 4 Supervisor Jim Shirk can be reached at email@example.com or at (775) 720-5761.