Early voting continues this week
October 26, 2018
There are lots of questions on the November ballot, but only one that will help fund regional road repair in Douglas County.
A $400 increase on a new residential permit is on the November ballot as an advisory question. The county is allowed under state law to increase the tax to $900.
In her argument against the tax she wrote for the ballot, Foothill resident Virginia Starrett called the tax a distraction from requiring the county to properly fund infrastructure.
Proponent Jim Slade credited the county with starting to budget to deal with infrastructure, and the money paid on new development will contribute to the roads.
The county has charged $500 per residential permit since 1997. Even during the largest booms in county construction, the tax only raised $250,000 a year off single-family homes.
The recent reconstruction of Waterloo Lane south of Minden and Gardnerville cost an estimated $2.5 million.
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There is also a 50-cent per square foot tax on nonresidential development, that would be increased to 90 cents per square foot and then $1 after 2020.
Should voters approve the question the tax could be implemented in the first quarter of 2019. It would increase again on July 1, 2020, to $1,000 for a home or apartment and $1 per square foot for nonresidential property.
State law requires the money be spent for roads and transportation projects.
Early voting continues 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Douglas County Courthouse in Minden. Residents will be able to cast a ballot early through Friday.
Election Administrator Dena Dawson said there have been no major issues so far.
"The past few days at the Courthouse have been slow with little to no lines," she said. "We did see long lines at Kahle and Sunridge but not at Fish Springs or the Community Center."
Dawson said she and Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis are anticipating long lines on Election Day and at the branch locations next week.
"We're urging voters to take advantage of early voting at the Courthouse to avoid the lines at the Branch locations and on Election Day."
Dawson said the county has received almost 2,700 of the requested 4,939 mail-ballots, so far.
Thanks to the upgraded machines, any Douglas registered voter may cast a ballot at any polling place throughout the election.
Mail-in ballots received by 7 p.m. Nov. 6 will be counted.
The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Besides the advisory question on roads, only one local race appears on all Douglas County voters' ballots.
Lake Tahoe residents Republican Wes Rice and nonpartisan Kristi Kandel are squaring off for Douglas County Commission District 4 seat now held by Nancy McDermid, who is term-limited.
With a significant Republican majority and overwhelming campaign resources, Rice is the favorite to win that race. Kandel reported raising no money and spending $136 so far in the campaign.
The biggest race of the campaign is for East Fork Justice of the Peace, which has Gardnerville attorney Cassandra Jones and Minden prosecutor Erik Levin squaring off to replace Tom Perkins, who's not seeking re-election.
The East Fork Township includes all of Douglas County outside of the Lake Tahoe Basin. It is one of the busiest justice courts in the state. The Township has qualified for a second justice of the peace for 14 years. Under Nevada law it is up to the sitting justice to determine if a second justice of the peace is required.
Residents of Minden, Gardnerville, Gardnerville Ranchos and Indian Hills also have town and district races.