Up or down, RDA will be a gamble
When you cut through the emotion and the politics, the debate over Redevelopment Area No. 2 really comes down to where the money to support the county comes from.
Opponents to the redevelopment agency are absolutely right when they say it will intercept property tax dollars coming into the county and 15 other districts that exist at Stateline.
They say the county is gambling using public money that the events center will revitalize Stateline, something that will be a waste of money that could be used for other things.
Giving up and repealing the redevelopment area is a gamble, too, though that’s a harder case to make.
Redevelopment in Douglas County is used to convert property tax revenue to sales tax.
According to the Nevada Department of Taxation, Douglas County raised $759,749 in sales and other taxes.
But the county received $1.233 million from the state, which means Douglas receives a $473,588 a month subsidy. That translates into $5.6 million a year, or the equivalent of around a tenth of the county’s general fund.
The other districts also receive a cut of that pie, just as they would get a big chunk of the $116 million both sides say the redevelopment agency will raise over the next 30 years.
Repealing redevelopment would provide $1-2 million a year to the county in property tax.
So here’s the wager.
What if a Legislature dominated by Clark County Democrats starts casting envious glances at that $5 million rock-ribbed Republican Douglas County gets every year?
Instead of money the county never had in the first place from redevelopment, suddenly county leaders would be looking at a giant hole in the budget.
We’re not saying that’s going to happen. If we had a crystal ball, The Record-Courier would be the most valuable publication ever to put ink on paper.
That’s why it’s called gambling. So whatever commissioners’ decision today, they’re placing a bet. Only time will tell if it’s truly a winner.