County takes up redevelopment Thursday
Commissioners meet 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Watch online at https://youtu.be/Y3LvbwMBGO0
To comment, call 775-783-6007 and leave a message or fill out a comment card at http://www.douglascountynv.gov/government/board_of_county_commissioners/public_comment
The fate of the Stateline redevelopment area and funding of an events center are both before Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.
A petition to place the area on the ballot was certified by Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis on Wednesday, who found it had the required 2,613 signatures.
Petitioners turned in 3,044 signatures, and clerks examined 2,752 of them, rejecting 139 for various reasons, Election Administrator Dena Dawson said. The Record-Courier mistakenly reported there were 2,752 valid signatures.
Under the agenda item on Thursday, commissioners can either vote to repeal the redevelopment area or place it on the ballot. Repealing the area would require public notices and additional meetings, though the county could start the process on Thursday.
Should they decide to repeal redevelopment, that would render a request from the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority for a $34.25 million pledge moot.
If a majority of the board decides not to repeal the agency, then the measure would automatically go on the ballot, unless there is a legal challenge.
Then commissioners, meeting as the redevelopment agency board, could take up the issue of whether to commit funds to the $100 million event center.
If that’s approved, then county commissioners could take a vote on the pledge.
It has been more than a quarter of a century since the last referendum on a Douglas County ordinance had a successful petition drive.
In 1994, Douglas County gas station owners led a charge to overturn the county’s nickel gas tax. Under the state definition, a referendum can only approve or disapprove something a legislative body, like the county commission, has approved.
The county has seen several initiatives over the years, most recently the Sustainable Growth Initiative’s successful petition drive in 2002. Challenged in court, it was another five years before the growth cap called for in the measure was implemented by the county. Another example of a successful initiative was the weight limit at Minden-Tahoe Airport.
The redevelopment area was formed in 2016 to help fund the events center at Stateline. While not the only source of funding for the center, proponents say it’s a critical source in addition to the $5 room tax and transient occupancy taxes.
Douglas County’s first redevelopment area, which helped attract Home Depot, Target and Walmart to Indian Hills, was repealed in 2018.
Money from redevelopment is generated from increased property values accompanying improvements within the area’s boundaries.
Property owners in the redevelopment area don’t pay any more tax than they would if it didn’t exist. The difference between the original value and the current value is instead placed in the redevelopment fund where it can be used for improvements, like an events center.
Governmental entities within the redevelopment area don’t receive the difference in property taxes. In the case of Redevelopment Area No. 2, the Douglas County School District was removed from redevelopment through July 2021, which is when the state changes how it supports school districts.
Of the $1.05 million projected for the fiscal year ending June 30, the county is budgeted to receive $291,432, while the Tahoe Douglas Fire District receives $195,630 and Oliver Park General Improvement District gets $152,840. The rest is divvied up among roughly a dozen other taxing districts.