South-side redevelopment plan good first step

The Board of Supervisors will have a decision to make on Thursday about whether to expand the South Carson City redevelopment zone.

If they approve the change, it won't be a magic pill for fixing the area, which is marked by stretches of favorable development mixed with empty storefronts and deteriorating housing.

But it will at least get the city in the game.

That game is attracting retailers and other businesses that can produce tax revenue for the city.

In some respects, the city is at a disadvantage compared to Douglas County, where land values are cheaper and a redevelopment authority stands ready to spend money to attract businesses.

If approved, a snapshot would be taken of the 2006 assessed value within the district. The tax revenue from that assessed amount would continue to go to the city's general fund for the 30-year life span of the district.

But taxes generated from increases in the assessed value would go to the district to be used specifically for redevelopment within its borders, including recruiting new businesses.

The payoff for the city as a whole is a more vibrant community and, if the district is successful, increases in sales-tax revenues.

Estimates say the district could raise $300,000 to $500,000 annually from property taxes at first, then, as the tax base grows, it could mean $1 million or more within five to 10 years.

Some residents may balk at the potential for the city to use eminent domain in its efforts to redevelop some of the worst properties, but officials are giving assurances they have no intention of seizing homes or other properties.

People who question that should show up at the Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the Community Center at 851 E. William St., where the issue is on the agenda.

But those who support the plan should show up, too. They might witness a turning point in a game in which the city has been playing from behind.


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