Auto Mall Background

Why does Carson City want to keep car dealers from moving to Douglas County?

Last year, the automotive sector generated one-third of the city's total taxable sales. It is the largest single sector of sales-tax revenues, which city Finance Director Tom Minton said is estimated to be $23 million in fiscal year 2006.

Two elements of sales tax revenue go to local government. The basic city/county relief tax is .5 percent. This goes to the government where the sale took place.

The supplemental city/county relief tax is 1.75 percent of taxable sales. This goes to the statewide pot. Those counties that are "guaranteed" get a guaranteed amount of that money - Douglas County is one of those. Carson City is not. What that means for Carson City is, it gets a bigger share of the pot if it collects more sales tax revenue.

Will the city purchase 13 acres located along South Carson Street and then sell it to a car dealer?

That's one option city officials are considering. Development/Redevelopment Manager Joe McCarthy said the city must first convince the state Board of Examiners and Interim Finance Committee that putting the land to a commercial use would benefit the public. The city's case: Putting that land back into use would bring assessed value and sales tax revenue to Carson City. The 13 acres is the former home of the Nevada National Guard and is owned by the state. If the state permits Carson City to buy the property, the city could then turn around and sell it to a retail developer or car dealer. McCarthy said he is still drafting the proposal to the Board of Examiners.

Carson City could buy the land from the state at its appraised value. A private buyer would have to bid for the land at a competitive auction.


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