Douglas County has a wonderful opportunity to encourage a spirit of cooperation with its neighbor, Carson City, by chipping in funds to pay for a bus service that brings shoppers and employees to its stores.
After all, the county benefits from the people who ride those buses in the form of sales tax spent there.
But will Douglas County ante up? All we have to base our guess on is past behavior, which, unfortunately, is far from cooperation. In fact, the county has refused to pay anything for the bus service in the past. But now that the Washoe County bus service will likely no longer be making trips into Douglas County, it only makes sense for Douglas County to divert the $13,000 it spent on that service to Carson City.
It would send a strange message if they resist, especially since Carson City has subsidized Douglas County by hundreds of thousands of dollars since the state's new tax structure was put in place in 1981.
Douglas County's manager sees the bus system as no big deal, possibly referring to the level of ridership, and suggested they could start a bus service of their own. Presumably, that service would run into Carson City and serve the people who now ride the JAC bus, enabling JAC to focus its service within city limits. And presumably the Douglas system wouldn't seek any subsidies from Carson City, according to the precedent it has set down with its own behavior.
While the city awaits Douglas County's response, commissioners ought to be making contingency plans. Carson City has enough financial woes of its own to deal with and should have no part of ferrying customers to Douglas County stores while getting nothing in return.
This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board.