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Bright lights, little city

Tribune Staff Report

The Tahoe Citizens Committee, which continues to explore self-government options for the Lake Tahoe portion of Douglas County, is seeking community feedback tonight on the formation of a new city.

Citing a survey conducted by the TCC last year that reported 60 percent of Tahoe Township residents approved of a separate Nevada county at the lake, TCC Chairman Michael Jabara said he thinks there also would be sufficient community support for a separate city.

Scheduled for 6 p.m. at Lakeside Inn & Casino, a panel comprised of people who have been involved in cityhood efforts in other Nevada jurisdictions will address the audience. Invited panelists include Lyon County Commissioner Leroy Goodman, Nevada League of Cities Executive Director Tom Grady, Mesquite City Councilman Paul Henderson and former Boulder City Mayor and Nevada state Sen. Jon Porter.

In addition, TCC leaders will discuss the 1997 Legislative session, the newly created Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority and a proposed separate school district for Incline Village.

Efforts to form a new county at the lake were shot down at the Nevada Legislature earlier this year.

However, rather than going to the Legislature, a new city proposal would instead go to the people, Jabara said, requiring a petition of roughly 1,500 registered voters, a public hearing and a majority vote.

The proposed city’s boundaries would extend from Spooner Summit to Glenbrook to Stateline and Daggett Pass – an area referred to as the Tahoe Township. There are now an estimated 5,300 registered voters within the current township. Under state law, the proposed city would both control and pay for a variety of their own services, Jabara said.

The TCC continues to contend that due to precipitous population growth in the Carson Valley, the Tahoe portion of Douglas County is not getting their fair share of services, given the amount of county taxes they contribute.

According to Jabara, in addition to new city taxes, gaming and property taxes would also be affected, as well as the possible consolidation of several general improvement districts. One financial analysis showed that property taxes would be raised 10 to 15 cents per assessed valuation, he added.

Douglas County School District officials say that unlike a separate lake county, a new city would not have a significant impact on the district.

However, impacts on Douglas County itself are still under debate.

“This is just another way to give people control of their own destiny,” Jabara said. “We want to see how receptive people are to the idea – if no one is there, we’ll just go home.”


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