Carson City Board of Supervisors amend agreement to Campagni auto group

The Board of Supervisors Thursday approved an amendment to an incentive agreement with Richard Campagni, owner of Carson City’s Toyota, Scion, Hyundai and Capital Ford car dealerships.

The amendment adds two years of incentive payments of 10 percent of the city’s portion of the Basic City-County Relief Tax and Supplemental City- County Relief Tax, which is estimated to be $386,000 based on the businesses’ forecasted sales.

In exchange, Campagni made an additional five-year commitment to keep his dealerships in Carson City through May 14, 2034.

The board discussed the amendment at length and had a divided vote with Supervisors Lori Bagwell and Jim Shirk voting against it.

The disagreement mainly concerned the city’s incentives program for small, redevelopment projects, which was suspended in 2010, and whether reimbursement to Campagni would come from the city’s general fund or redevelopment fund.

“I thought redevelopment was not going to continue to do incentives,” said Bagwell. “How is it fair to all other businesses who bring in sales tax dollars? I’m struggling with how to do we pick who the city gives incentives to.”

Supervisor Karen Abowd said car dealers once kept the city afloat during lean times.

“I’m grateful to the car dealers. We would not have remained in the black if not for them,” Abowd said.

Campagni, who gave a brief presentation, said he declined an offer in 2006 to be part of a proposed auto mall in Douglas County and had recently spent about $1.8 million remodeling his Ford dealership after spending $10 million to build his Toyota-Scion shop.

Supervisor Brad Bonkowski pointed out that Campagni was the number one sales tax payer in the city.

“How can you vote yes on this without a payment source,” Bagwell asked.

The agreement does not specify the funding source so was not necessary for the vote and Bonkowski said the money is available because its a reimbursement of Campagni’s sales tax.

In the end, the supervisors voted without designating a funding source, although an expenditure from the redevelopment fund would have required a 2/3 majority or a vote of at least 4-1.

In other action:

The board also voted to appoint Jason Justice to the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee and reappointed Mark Sattler to the Planning Commission.

Justice was the only RACC applicant, but the board interviewed four other applicants for the commission.

The supervisors said all the candidates were well qualified but decided to retain Sattler for his experience and institutional knowledge.

In addition, Planning Commissioner Victor Castro resigned Thursday morning so a second spot will soon be vacant, which could be filled by one of the four remaining applicants.

The board also set goals and objectives for City Manager Nick Marano for the coming year, including developing a plan for performance-based budgeting; investigating single-stream recycling for the landfill; and several status reports, including implementation of a utilities assistance program for those in need, funding procedures for deferred maintenance and the capital improvement program, and recommended changes to code compliance for extended stay motels.

In other actions, the board amended the maximum number of residential building permits to 640 under the growth management ordinance as recommended by the Planning Commission.


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