Commissioners shoot down park question
DAYTON — There will be no park tax question on this year’s ballot.
Lyon County commissioners have unanimously agreed to take no action on a request from the Central Lyon County Park Tax Committee to place an advisory question on the November 2002 ballot asking for voter support of a 5-cent tax increase. The additional revenue was proposed for park maintenance and improvements.
The issue of finding additional money for the beleaguered park district will be addressed at the next budget session in the spring of 2003.
Responding to Assistant District Attorney Steve Rye’s opinion that there is no ordinance giving the county authority to assess different taxes in different areas of the county, and indicating they did not wish to pursue the formation of a special tax district, committee member Jill Council asked the board if it would be possible to place the question on the ballot as a countywide park tax.
However, that idea was nixed when Rye advised the revenue derived would not be able to used on parks in the cities of Fernley and Yerington.
“While all residents would be taxed, generally the county doesn’t use funds after an agreement (between the city and county) on city property. I think that would be the same in this case,” Rye said, noting parks in the recently incorporated city of Fernley have now been deeded to them.
Commissioner David Fulstone, referring to the failure of a similar question two years ago, did not think a vote of the people was the best way to find additional funding.
“A second time on the ballot, whether it be county wide or area wide, chances of it passing are not very good in our financial climate. The answer to the problem is, is the county going to raise taxes for parks during the next budget cycle, or take money away from other things for parks, or continue to go the way they are,” he said.
Fulstone and Commissioner LeRoy Goodman both stated that a failed ballot question could be devastating to future park funding.
“If we have a mandate (from the voters) not to raise taxes for parks, the next budget cycle I’d have a hard time putting any money into parks. And right now, I’d be in the mode to fight like heck to get some money (for parks) next year,” Fulstone told committee members.
Council supported working with commissioners to find additional funding.
“If it is not a smart move to put on the ballot at this point, can we get a committee together to start working with you,” she asked. “Our people are so upset now in our area. My kids are playing soccer on rocks. It is a safety hazard for our kids.”