Carson City committees discuss support of state Question 1

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Two Carson City committees this week will discuss supporting Nevada ballot Question 1 on the Nov. 5 ballot, which asks voters to approve a $200 million conservation bond to protect and enhance the state's natural resources.

About $10 million could help conservation efforts along the Carson River corridor.

Much the bond money, which may raise property taxes statewide, is destined for Clark County projects aimed at preserving and developing wildlife habitat and constructing a southern state museum.

The Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission plans to discuss support of Question 1 today, and the Carson River Advisory Committee will discuss the issue Wednesday.

About $65.5 million of the bonds is earmarked for the Nevada Division of State Lands to provide grants for other state agencies and local governments. From that, $10 million is specifically appointed to provide matching funds for grants to help restore Carson River habitat.

Carson City open space manager Juan Guzman said the river funds and other grant funds from the Question 1 bond would allow the city to stretch money to protect the river, open space and to build trails.

Question 1 was approved during the 2001 Legislature's special session with near-unanimous support from the Senate and Assembly. If approved Nov. 5, the question will raise property taxes by 2.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. That's about $18 extra annually for a $200,000 home.

The extra property tax would be levied above the state cap of $3.64. It would only be levied, if the state isn't able to raise enough money through its 15-cent property tax levy to meet current bond payments.

The measure is backed by a variety of legislators, state organizations and businesses, but it was created by and lobbied for by the Nevada chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Ame Hellman, director of the Nature Conservancy's Nevada chapter, said her group has raised about $350,000 to advertise the issue in the coming month.

It's been 12 years since Nevadan's passed a conservation bond, and the $47 million from that bond is spent. Land conservation programs state wide need a boost, Hellman said, especially in light of Nevada's status as the fastest-growing state in the country.

Question 1 has no known, organized opposition. Carole Vilardo, director of the Nevada Taxpayer's Association, said her board of directors failed to reach a consensus on the measure. She said the association generally takes a stance on issues, especially when taxation is involved.

The ballot question reads: "Shall the State of Nevada be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $200 million in order to preserve water quality; protect open space, lakes, rivers, wetlands, and wildlife habitat; and restore and improve parks, recreational areas, and historic and cultural resources?"


What: Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission

When: 5:30 p.m., today


What: Carson River Advisory Committee

When: 6 p.m., Wednesday

Both meet in the Community Center's Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.

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