Open space measure at planning commission Tuesday |

Open space measure at planning commission Tuesday

Carson Valley is greening up on Saturday. Kurt Hildebrand photo

A proposal to put a quarter-cent sales tax on the ballot to finance the preservation of open space will go before Douglas County Planning commissioners on Tuesday.

Several members have been discussing pursuing a ballot initiative to purchase open space for preservation.

Douglas County currently charges 7.1 percent in sales tax, a half-cent less than Carson City, but the same amount as Lyon County. Should the measure be placed on the ballot and voters agree, the sales tax would be 7.35 percent.

That tax rate would raise an estimated $2.1 million a year.

The planning commission is advisory to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, who could hear the proposal at their May 11 meeting. The deadline to get an initiative on the ballot is this summer.

Planning Commissioner Maureen Casey is an advocate for putting an initiative on the ballot.

“I think everything we have in place, the prospect of agrihoods, clustering on agricultural property, TDRs, all have their place, but I don’t think it’s going to move fast enough to preserve our county, to protect our aquifer and to support the agricultural community,” she said at a March 10 joint meeting on the master plan. “The sooner we can get this done, the better.”

It has been 20 years since the Douglas County voters rejected a ballot question seeking to raise the sales tax to preserve agricultural and open space.

The meeting will be online at