Redevelopment not going away
December 26, 2006
Wish as we might, that county commissioners could take back Thursday’s vote on a $24.7 million redevelopment deal, we know that they can’t. Only a judge can stop the agreement from going forward now.
There’s been a lot of speculation about the motivation for the deal, but we know that motivation all too well.
A decade and a half ago, Douglas County was faced with the possibility that it might be forced to support itself with sales tax.
At the time, Clark County’s outrage over being shorted by Washoe County looked like it might spill over to the rest of the north.
Both the 1991 and 1993 legislatures dealt with the tax issue establishing a means by which rural counties, that had been subsidized by larger counties, could leave the nest and fly under their own power.
Douglas is now growing toward freeing itself from the list of counties living from the largess of counties such as Clark and Washoe, who generate more sales tax than they spend.
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That is only one of the motivations for the county to try and increase sales tax, at the expense of property tax, which is why it formed a large redevelopment district on the Carson-Douglas line. Since development raises money based on improvements in the district, the $24.7 million approved by commissioners last week must seem to them to be free money. After all if developers don’t build, then there is no money from the redevelopment district.
We oppose using the redevelopment district to attract new business because we believe the county is unfairly subsidizing commercial enterprises from elsewhere to the detriment of our own locally operated businesses in the Valley’s center.
Hopefully, county leaders willingness to make a deal to develop the other side of the highway won’t prompt lawmakers to find new ways to thwart the county’s ambitions.