Carson City supervisors pass diesel tax
The Board of Supervisors instituted a 5 cent per gallon tax on diesel fuel sold in Carson City.
The vote on Thursday was 4-1 with Supervisor Lori Bagwell voting no.
The tax takes effect starting Aug. 1 and will sunset Dec. 31, 2022 unless a ballot measure to extend it is passed by voters in the 2022 election.
Much of the discussion about the tax took place at the supervisors’ last meeting, when the board heard the first reading of the ordinance that implements the tax.
But Maurice White, candidate for Supervisor Ward 2, and Ronald Bratsch, candidate for Supervisor Ward 4, both criticized the move during public comment via phone at the start of the meeting.
White said the gas tax indexing measure that failed in 2016 included a diesel tax.
“Sixty-five percent of voters opposed it. Today, you’re set to circumvent the wishes of Carson City voters,” said White.
Nancy Paulson, city manager, told the board several city facilities will reopen with restrictions in the next few days.
The Carson City Library will reopen June 8 1-6 p.m. Monday through Friday with curbside pickup continuing from 10 a.m. to noon during the week. Neither seating nor computers inside the library will be available and those interested in curbside pickup can arrange for it by phone at (775) 283-7590 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Multi-Athletic Center is opening Friday and the Carson Aquatic Facility, the Community Center, and the splash pad at McFadden Plaza are opening Monday. Details on hours and restrictions will be announced soon.
During a standing item on the city’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, Jeanne Freeman from the city’s emergency operations center and Sheri Russell, chief financial officer, updated the board.
Freeman said there are 44 active positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in the quad-county area, including 16 in Carson City.
Carson City Health and Human Services is holding another testing event for individuals who are asymptomatic on Tuesday from 8-11 a.m. at the Carson High School. The tests are free and no appointment is needed.
Freeman and others encouraged people who are not experiencing symptoms to get tested both because it prevents further spread of the disease if those who test positive isolate and helps collect data the state is requiring to continue to open.
“A key point about testing is it’s connected to the state’s ability to move into new phases,” said Supervisor Stacey Giomi. “We will move into new phases more quickly if we get more testing.”
Giomi tested positive for the coronavirus last month and has recovered.
“I can’t tell you how many well wishes I got,” he said. “It’s a great community and I want to thank everyone.”
Russell said taxable sales in March, when non-essential businesses closed for half the month, were down 12.7 percent and the money collected by the city dropped 11.3 percent. Data for April, the first full month of closure, will be available later this month.
Russell said she had projected a 35 percent drop in March so the city was in a better position than anticipated.
The board recessed for lunch and is reconvening at 1:30 p.m. to hear an appeal of a Planning Commission decision amending a special use permit for Tahoe Western Asphalt.