Letter: Costco deal needs scrutiny
There is no doubt that Costco will be a great addition to Carson City shopping. Costco is an excellent place to shop, and I look forward to it opening in our community. The manner in which it is being accomplished greatly disturbs me.
Mayor Masayko rightfully has the same concern and feels it should be done with more scrutiny. Being somewhat familiar with “redevelopment” legislation, I was very surprised to see how easy it is for the city to designate new redevelopment areas. The purpose of the original legislation was to improve “blighted” areas located within communities. This was to be accomplished by allowing the government entity to “freeze” the assessed valuation of a designated “run-down” area at a given point in time and then “reinvest” the proceeds from growth within that area back into the area for enhancement and improvements.
A perfect example is the continuing improvements that we are making in our own “downtown” redevelopment area. The actions recently taken to guarantee that a major retailer locates in our area really “stretches” that legislation. It just seems to me that “a rarely used city property” doesn’t quite fit the description of a “blighted” area. Instead of “redevelopment,” it appears the laws are being used for “economic development,” or some sort of corporate welfare. How will the property tax proceeds in the newly designated redevelopment area be used? It s my understanding that in Douglas County they are being used to retire debt for building a sewer and water infrastructure to Home Depot and Target.
So far, I’m not sure anyone has addressed how the new property taxes will be used in our community. Will they be “reinvested” back into that area for the next 40 years to benefit Costco, or will they be used in the downtown area? Regardless, the city will reap a great deal of revenue from a different source, the sales taxes.
But Mayor Masayko is absolutely right in that schools will not enjoy a nickel from the new Costco redevelopment area. In fact, they will be impacted by the new students from the estimated 200 new and full-time jobs being created. At this point, absolutely none of the new revenue from this area can be used to help buy the extra supplies and staff it will take to accommodate the growth.
Because of this impact, and the nature in which the “redevelopment” laws are being used, I strongly urge the board of supervisors to do what is fair. Please take the advice of Carole Vilardo of the Nevada Taxpayers Association in a recent Nevada Appeal article and show good faith by considering some support for schools. Fairness would be to enter into a local agreement with the Carson City School District to provide them with (at a minimum) their 50 cent portion of the 75 cent school property tax revenue generated from the Costco property to help offset some of their costs. Perhaps even a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the property could be designated for school maintenance and improvements.