Group pushing for Incline Village to be incorporated
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Village League to Save Incline Assets recently announced an effort to create a new city government for the Incline Village and Crystal Bay area and are looking for community feedback for the project, according to a recently launched website.
The move from being an unincorporated greater improvement district to incorporation as a city would allow residents to gain more control of local problems that have grown to be more pressing in the community, including housing and short term rental issues, lack of parking and issues with transportation, land use and zoning problems, and need for improvement on other public services.
Washoe County District 1 Commissioner Alexis Hill, who represents Incline Village, is curious to see how the process will play out, but ultimately supports anything that’s supportive of her district and Washoe County as a whole.
“It’s the same as Sparks being in Washoe County or Reno being in Washoe County,” said Commissioner Hill. “[Incline Village] is still in Washoe County, they still receive Washoe County services, but they have their own oversight on particular local issues.”
The desire to incorporate as a city has been brought up in the past, but the Village League announced they are taking the first steps towards a vote to incorporate by beginning a formal petition to hold the vote.
Once filed, the community will have, “90 days to collect valid signatures from one-third of our registered voters in Incline Village and Crystal Bay,” according to the city of Incline Village website.
Following the approval of signatures for validity by Washoe County, both the county and state are required to determine financial viability of the proposal before holding one or more public hearings prior to the proposal reaching the Washoe County Board of Commissioners.
Regardless of their recommendation, an election would be scheduled so that only the voters of Incline Village and Crystal Bay would be able to vote on whether or not to incorporate.
“They have to go through to find out what the positives and negatives would be, mainly financial,” said Commissioner Hill. “So I’m looking forward to seeing however that process plays out.”
The league’s president Todd Lowe, who was unavailable for an interview prior to the Tribune’s deadline, attended the Incline Village Crystal Bay Community Forum Friday, July 15, to answer additional questions from the community.
“We’re still in discovery mode — what should be in the plan and what shouldn’t,” Lowe said. “We’d rather do it right than fast. We can make Incline Village the best city in the country. If for any reason this doesn’t pan out, we can disincorporate and go back to where we are.”
The city of Incline Village would be responsible for services that are currently run by Washoe County, including snow plowing, policing, the justice court and constable, which was recently abolished by the Washoe County Commissioners earlier this year, and other services.
The money allocated by Washoe County for these services may continue to be given to Incline Village, but the control of how the funds are used would be up to the local government.
Additionally, agencies like the Incline Village General Improvement District and the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District will continue to function in the community and work with the newly established local government.
The Village League began advocating for residents of Incline Village and Crystal Bay in 2003, when they fought, and eventually won $100 million in refunds for excess property taxes illegally obtained by Washoe County.
It was discovered that Incline Village residents pay 9.5% o f all property tax in Washoe County, but make up only 2% of the county’s total population, and only have 5.1% of all parcels.
The Village League believes that through incorporation, the unique needs of the small community will be met.
“Our mission to help the community didn’t end when Washoe County started sending the last $56 million round of property tax refund checks last year,” said Lowe on the city of Incline website. “The grievances we hear from our community members have become too many, too frequent, and too serious for us to lay idle. There is no reason why we cannot be America’s best run, best place to live. Incline Village and Crystal Bay need autonomy and control over our future.”
To learn more about the city of Incline Village and to read through the full list of frequently asked questions, visit cityofinclinevillage.com.
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