Correction and some questions


I am more than pleased to correct my letter published in the April 8 edition of The Record-Courier. Based on hearsay I wrongly accused Assemblyman James Settelmeyer of supporting a new tax and bonding authority for a multi-county health district including as a minimum Douglas County and Carson City. Our votes on the tax would not be needed.

Douglas County commissioners unanimously approved participation in such a tax district during a sparsely attended February commission meeting at the Lake, according to published minutes and Commission Chair Nancy McDermid's testimony to the state senate committee on health and education. I opposed the bill during the same senate committee hearing. No public hearings have been held specifically to educate voters on the potential tax impact. That's why I call it a sneak attack on our wallets.

Assemblyman Settelmeyer emphatically stated he does not support such a health district taxing authority. Nor does he support another additional property tax increment requested by the Nevada Association of Counties. That's a relief, because in the state assembly he is one of the stalwarts defending all of us from the legislature's bi-annual attacks on our pocketbooks. This year's attack is not yet finished.

One can't help but wonder about the motivation of county commissioners, particularly Lynn and McDermid who have taken the lead in lobbying for health district bill Senate Bill 278. Who is really represented? And why? The district would take over health functions now provided by state medical employees and county social services. Come on, commissioners, tell us all what's going on. How about a public town hall meeting?

Here are only a few unanswered questions.

1. Estimated amount of bond to be issued to build and equip a facility for health district employees?

2. Maximum tax revenue from new Douglas County property tax increments and 1/4 percent sales tax by year over the first 10 years?

3. What unique benefits accrue to Douglas County taxpayers to justify increased taxes?

4. How many employees are estimated?

5. What services would be transferred from state departments? Would state revenue accompany that transfer?

6. What amount of county budget and employees would be transferred, and what functions?

7. What services now performed by the state would be improved by the health district?

8. What authority over county health matters would affect citizens?

9. What limits would be imposed on health district management?

10. Since Douglas County would have only two commissioners on the health district board, clearly they could not veto nor control actions by the district management. What potential impact is there to county citizens?

Jack Van Dien



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