Advisory panel delays action on tax incentive

A proposal to give property owners in redevelopment districts a tax incentive to attract new tenants went back to the drawing board after the members of the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee tabled it Monday evening.

After Monday's 4-1 decision, the advisory committee is expected to address the sales tax incentive at its next meeting on Feb. 7. Meanwhile, the Board of Supervisors and the Redevelopment Authority may address the proposal within the next month.

The proposal, which would give property owners a 50 percent reduction in local sales taxes, is similar to the deal given to the owners of the Southgate Shopping Center last fall, helping to attract Big Lots, Big 5 Sporting Goods and the Olive Garden. That spurred other property owners such as the Carrington Group of the Carson Mall to ask the city for a similar incentive.

As a result, city officials drafted a policy that would expand that tax incentive for other property owners in redevelopment districts.

Under the current proposal, property owners who have more than 15,000 square feet of vacant space would have until March 31 to apply and a year to fill their property to qualify for the sales tax incentive.

Some members of the advisory committee said they weren't comfortable with the length of time the sales tax reimbursement would last - 15 years - and its limitations on applying, such as no restaurants or companies considering a move to Carson City from Douglas, Lyon or Storey counties.

Vice Chairman Stan Jones suggested the sales tax incentive should only last five to seven years. Committee members also generally agreed with an annual review of the incentive if it does become official.

Committee member Gigi Valenti said she wanted to get rid of the restrictions on businesses from other counties and restaurants.

"If it's going to be open it needs to be open for everybody," Valenti said.

Joanne Holmes of the Carrington Group told the committee that a sales tax incentive would give the company another tool to help attract a new retailer to fill the former Gottschalks.

"I really do view it as something that would really help us," she said.


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