Meetings aim to explain property tax increase on ballot

The Carson City Sheriff's Department is hosting a series of meetings in the coming weeks to outline the Public Safety Initiative tax increase that voters will decide on during the general election.

The plan, if approved by voters, would raise about $2.5 million with a 12.6 cent tax on every $100 of assessed property value. The money would go to funding an additional ambulance team, a seasonal fire crew for wildland fire protection, a gang unit, more jail officers and additional dispatchers.

Every Thursday, beginning this week through October, part of the meeting will be to explain the purpose of the initiative and then voters will be able to question candidates in various city races during an open forum.

This Thursday's forum will include mayoral candidates Bob Crowell and Ken Haskins. The remaining meetings will include the following candidates: Ward 2 Supervisor Shelly Aldean and challenger Dennis Johnson on Sept. 25; Ward 4 Supervisor Richard Staub and challenger Molly Walt on Oct. 9; First Judicial District Court candidate Noel Waters and Jim Wilson on Oct. 23.

"Unlike many other public funding revenue sources, this initiative is specific to public safety, can only be used within specific guidelines and must be accountable back to the community every year within the city's budget," said Sheriff Ken Furlong.

Supervisor Pete Livermore said Tuesday he was initially opposed to the tax increase but after further review, decided it was the best way to fund the needs within the emergency and law enforcement agencies in the city.

"I've finally come to the reckoning that the tax will keep up with the cost for the personnel. I've seen the numbers and the numbers calculate in my mind, and I want to support it," he said.

If the initiative fails, the board of supervisors will have to use money earmarked for parks, libraries and recreation, said Furlong.

The meetings will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Ormsby Room at the Sheriff's Department at 911 E. Musser St.

- Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

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