City considers funding V&T work with sales tax

Looking for more money to fund restoration of the Virginia & Truckee Railway, Carson City is supporting a proposed state law that would let smaller counties use sales tax money for historic and cultural projects.

Counties already have the ability to enact a quarter-cent sales tax for projects ranging from water pipes to flood plain management, but so far only Clark and Washoe counties have done so.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, would let counties with populations less than 100,000 use the money for more tourism-related projects. If it's passed, Carson City may consider enacting an eighth-cent sales tax hike, "primarily to use as a funding mechanism for the V&T," said Mayor Marv Teixeira.

Raising Carson City's sales tax by an eighth of a cent would generate about $1.25 million a year, according to city Finance Director Tom Minton. Officials say the money would be used to cover a $15 million match for a proposed $5 million state appropriation. The city's board of supervisors voted Thursday to endorse both bills.

The ability to use sales tax income for the project may spur other nearby counties to chip in for the rail line, which is expected to produce a $40 million economic boost in the Northern Nevada economy during its construction phase and an estimated $16 million a year after that.

Plans for the renovated rail line call for it to run through Storey and Lyon counties as well as Carson City.

The sales tax bill has passed through the Senate and is now awaiting approval by the Assembly. The proposed $5 million V&T appropriation, which calls for future railway ticket sales to pay back the state, is still in the Assembly where it was introduced.

City settles lawsuit; approves utility study

Carson City supervisors voted Thursday to pay 20-year-old Brandon Marino $30,000 to settle a lawsuit claiming malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and use of excessive force by Carson City deputies in November 2003.

Marino, who was originally arrested for failure to complete community service on a traffic citation, claimed he was knocked unconscious when deputies slammed his head into a brick wall several times while he was handcuffed.

Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said a review by the department showed the officers' use of force was justified.

Supervisors also approved a $125,000 study looking into a extending city utilities from Deer Run Road east along Highway 50 to the Lyon County line.

About 150 acres of private land there is ripe for development, city officials said, but new construction is being held up by a lack of water and sewer lines.

- Contact reporter Cory McConnell at or 881-1217.


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