Ballot question arguements | NevadaAppeal.com

Ballot question arguements

Staff reports

The Carson City advisory question reads: “While retaining and improving the area known as Fuji Park, should Carson City make available for commercial development City property known as the Carson City Fairgrounds?”

The following are the agruments drafted for and against the question.

CARSON CITY FAIRGROUNDS ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION COMMITTEE (in favor of a “Yes” vote)

ARGUMENT

Who benefits if Fuji Park is retained and improved and the fairgrounds are sold and relocated? Everyone benefits! The board of supervisors will be able to offer valuable, city-owned property for commercial development which, in turn, would generate substantial sales and property tax revenue, help keep property taxes low, create job opportunities, and maintain essential services without the need to impose additional taxes or fees. Relocating the obsolete, aging, and seldom-used fairgrounds to a new and larger facility will enhance quality of life, encourage new tourism, and attract larger events the existing fairgrounds is ill-equipped and unable to accommodate. Selling the fairgrounds property for commercial development will enable the board of supervisors to spend approximately $5 million relocating and upgrading the current fairgrounds with no increase in taxes or fees. Additionally, the city will be able to preserve the threatened and environmentally sensitive Clear Creek corridor and help create an aesthetically pleasing southern entrance to our city.

Nevada is one of the few states that has stopped relying exclusively on property taxes to fund local government. Carson City schools receive most of the property taxes collected. By expanding sales tax revenues locally, Carson City has been able to avoid relying on property taxes. The board of supervisors must continue to have the authority, flexibility, and the right to maintain and increase the sales tax base without being forced to accept demands imposed by special interest groups. Property tax increases hit hardest those least able to pay: senior citizens, retirees, young families, and others on fixed incomes. Through sound economic policies, Carson City has been able to provide city services without relying on property taxes. It’s not an accident that Carson City has one of the lowest property tax rates in Nevada. To keep the cost of government down, the board of supervisors must be able to continue promoting economic diversification.

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A yes vote benefits you and every citizen of Carson City. A yes vote will allow the board of supervisors to continue to make sound, fiscally responsible revenue decisions. A yes vote would prevent a return to the old days of petty politics, bureaucratic paralysis, and government by special interest. A yes vote guarantees the authority of the board of supervisors to continue to make decisions that benefit all the citizens of Carson City, not just a select few.

CARSON CITY FAIRGROUNDS BALLOT QUESTION COMMITTEE (in support of a “No” vote)

REBUTTAL

The public and taxpayers do not benefit from selling the fairgrounds at Fuji Park. Economic diversification does not mean selling established recreational facilities, creeks and parks. Asphalt parking lots and a strip mall will not preserve environmentally sensitive Clear Creek nor create an aesthetically pleasing southern entrance to our City.

Those who use the fairgrounds do not consider it obsolete, aging, or seldom used. They want to keep the fairgrounds at Fuji Park and receive the minor improvements promised by the City from the Costco sale.

The City’s own figures show that the sale of the 12.5 acres the City actually owns at the fairgrounds may generate between $2,000,000 to $3,900,000, not $5,000,000. The City estimates building a fairgrounds at the dump site will cost $6,900,000. This creates a shortfall of $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 which could force the City to issue bonds or raise property taxes to build a replacement fairgrounds.

A “Yes” vote will displace users, threaten Clear Creek, reduce Fuji Park’s value, and potentially cost taxpayers millions in hidden costs. A “no” vote reaffirms the electorates’ 1996 vote for the Quality of Life initiative is not overturned by the crass commercialism of special interests.

CARSON CITY FAIRGROUNDS BALLOT COMMITTEE (in support of a “No” vote)

ARGUMENT

Just say “No” to selling part of Carson City’s unique recreational resource. A “No” vote preserves the fairgrounds and Fuji Park as an integrated facility.

The combination of mature shade trees, grass area, exhibit hall, fairgrounds, arenas, and cool shaded waters of Clear Creek is not available anywhere else in Carson City. A fairgrounds relocated on barren land next to the City dump will leave behind the events center, grass, trees and creek. Breaking up the complex will create two lesser facilities which will force some events to move to other communities and result in the loss of tourism dollars to Carson City. Building a shopping center over Clear Creek will threaten the environment of the stream corridor. A shopping center next to Fuji Park will severely diminish its recreational value and increase the pressure to include it in future commercial development. For more than 40 years, Carson City citizens have supported the integrated facility. The fairgrounds, like Fuji Park, were built with citizen contributions of money, time, and materials. Fairgrounds and park users have long considered them as one and have repeatedly stated that they do not want to relocate.

A ‘No’ vote reaffirms the 1996 Quality of Life Initiative, where our citizens took the extraordinary measure of taxing themselves (by a one-quarter percent sales tax) to fund the acquisition, development, and maintenance of park, open space, trails and recreational facilities. Clearly the voters’ intent was to expand our recreational properties, not to sell them. In 2001, the City’s own poll showed that the majority of the surveyed registered voters wanted to leave the fairgrounds and park at its present location even given the Wal-Mart move to Douglas County. More than 3,400 registered voters signed an initiative petition telling the city to leave the park and fairgrounds in its current location.

The city’s current economic arguments for selling the fairgrounds are based on inflated projections. Estimates of the available land, sales price, and new sales tax revenues from developing the fairgrounds are, to date, clearly overstated. Relocation of a new fairgrounds at the city dump will require the city to go into debt by issuing bonds. Responsible fiscal management requires a ‘No’ vote.

CARSON CITY FAIRGROUNDS ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION COMMITTEE (in favor of a “Yes” vote)

REBUTTAL

The arguments presented by a small, militant special interest group opposing the relocation of the fairgrounds are misleading. The issue is not Fuji Park. The quality of life initiative was never intended to prohibit the board of supervisors from selling the fairgrounds. The $5 million relocation of the fairgrounds reaffirms the quality of life initiative by providing a new, larger, improved community facility. You are being asked to relocate the fairgrounds to a site which has been examined and approved by the fairgrounds users coalition, volunteer parks and recreation commissioners, the board of supervisors, and other interested citizens in an open, public process.

The organized opposition to relocating the fairgrounds would have you believe a mandate exists in the community for their position. Not true! The new fairgrounds complex will not be built at the city dump and will not be a burden on the taxpayers. In an effort to scare you, the opponents claim that the Clear Creek stream corridor is environmentally endangered; however, they have offered no legitimate, scientific evidence to substantiate their claim.

The opponents are relying on fear tactics to confuse you. Voting yes gives you an improved Fuji Park and a new, improved fairgrounds complex.