Gibbons vetoes detention center bill |

Gibbons vetoes detention center bill

On the final day before they would automatically become law, Gov. Jim Gibbons on Friday vetoed the measure to allow Lyon and Churchill County commissioners to build and run a joint juvenile detention center.

SB146 was vetoed because Gibbons said it would permit commissioners to raise property taxes without going to a vote of the people. It would have permitted an increase of up to 8 cents on the tax to raise the $1 million a year necessary to operate the center.

Mary Walker, representing the counties, told lawmakers during hearings on the bill that the counties can raise their property tax rate but that the statutory cap prevents them from actually collecting the revenue. The bill would lift the cap in this case to fund the detention center.

Lyon County Juvenile Probation Chief Devere Karlson told lawmakers there are times when existing detention centers in Douglas and Carson City can’t take their offenders. She said herself and other officers have had to keep juveniles overnight at the juvenile probation offices and the 24-bed center is desperately needed.

Gibbons said the counties should put the question before voters.

“The goal sought by this bill is a good one,” he said. “However, this bill will almost certainly result in increased property taxes in several counties without allowing the voters in those counties an opportunity to have their voice heard. We must strive for solutions to Nevada’s problems that are not based on tax increases. I pledge my support to finding such a solution to the compelling need for a juvenile justice facility in our rural counties.”

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Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, who represents both counties, said he saw the veto coming. He said he would recommend to the counties that they put an advisory question on the ballot.

In the meantime, he said, “they’ll have to beg some space from Douglas and Washoe counties.”

Gibbons also vetoed AB396 which made a variety of changes to laws governing common-interest communities more commonly called homeowners associations.

He said in his veto message the bill makes “sweeping changes,” some of which could have unintended impacts on people living in these developments, including the possibility of increased assessments.

Further, Gibbons said some of those changes were made in the final hours and days of the 2007 session without full hearings on those issues.

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• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.