Carson, Douglas officials agree to cooperate
Appeal Staff Writer
Elected officials in Carson City and Douglas County agreed this week to consider working together to collect – and possibly bring in more – sales tax revenue from sources in both communities.
Carson City and Douglas County staff are expected to begin determining needs and looking for a firm to conduct the study now that officials want to find out whether it’s viable to share sales tax revenue. The Northern Nevada Development Authority would administer the study and serve as a neutral third party.
“It’s a highly provocative and political issue,” said Ron Weisinger, executive director of the NNDA. “The big deal is that they’ve taken this progressive step.”
Sales tax allocation is formula-driven process conducted by the state. Any new arrangement would require legislative approval, said Dan Holler, Douglas County manager.
Carson would bear the cost of a study, though Carson likely would ask Douglas to pay for part of it if the research ultimately proves costly, said Supervisor Shelly Aldean.
Statewide, “the shift from property tax to sales tax reliance is why we’re both fighting – it’s our lifeblood,” Aldean said. “We hope legislators will assist us.”
Focus would be across both counties, not just on Carson’s south and Douglas’s north where they border one another, she said.
Carson residents go to Douglas to spend money and vice-versa. This is also why officials are considering cooperation instead of competition.
“A county border isn’t an economic boundary,” said John Mitchell, western region economist with U.S. Bank in Portland, Ore. The arrangement “would be a positive thing. It would reduce infighting and allow the governments to try to do what’s best for their residents.”
“If nothing else, it shows the voting public their representatives have the best interest of consumers at heart,” Weisinger said.
Aldean also suspects that this type of agreement would also prove equalizing in other ways. Carson tends to offer more social services than its neighbors – including Douglas. The organizations might be able to obtain more reimbursement for their services than they do now, she said.
It wouldn’t be the first cooperative effort between the two neighbors. The Nevada Taxpayer’s Association, for example, gave the East Fork Fire District and Carson City Fire Department its Cashman Good Government Award for a cooperative plan that saved area taxpayers roughly $1 million and improved emergency response to areas on both sides of the county line between Mica Way and Clearview Drive.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.
In other business,
• Have opted to seek outside legal counsel to review agreements – present and future – with Vidler Water Co. The firm doing the work for the city would be Woodburn and Wedge in Reno, and one of its specialties is water rights law.
• Approved an investigation that might result in the loss of the liquor license owned by Bhupinder Lally, proprietor of Winnie Liquor, 262 West Winnie Lane. The store has received complaints about alcohol being sold to minors.
• Postponed decisions about the Jet Ranch and Combs Canyon II developments.
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