Lake Tahoe redevelopment area a moneymaker for Douglas County
if you go
What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners
When: 1 p.m. Thursday
Where: 1616 Eighth St., Minden
Even as Douglas County’s first redevelopment area moves toward dissolution, concerns about the second have begun to surface.
Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to discuss repealing Redevelopment Area No. 1, which stretches from the county line with Carson City, along the west side of Carson Valley on its way to 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs.
Elimination of that area will release $2.1 million a year divided between the county, school district, improvement districts and the Town of Genoa.
A similar area was approved for Stateline in February 2016 to fund construction of an all-weather events center next door to MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa.
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Redevelopment districts make their money based on an increase in property tax revenue over time. Agencies such as the county, the Douglas County School District and Tahoe-Douglas Fire District will receive the same tax dollars they did before the district was implemented, but won’t benefit from increases that come when the area is reassessed.
The redevelopment area at Stateline includes Edgewood, the Hard Rock, Harrah’s, Harveys, the Lakeside Inn, MontBleu and Tahoe Beach Club.
Gardnerville resident David Maxwell told commissioners at their April meeting in Stateline that the Tahoe redevelopment area would raise $215 million over the next 30 years.
He pointed out that the plan for to build the venue is only estimated at $99 million
Maxwell said the sale of condos at the Tahoe Beach Club for $2-$3 million each sparked his interest in the amount raised.
He said based just on those figures, the tax revenue above the county’s base will be more than twice what’s needed to build the venue over its three-decade lifespan.
“Do we want to leave $116 million in the redevelopment area that can only be spent for the benefit of the casinos,” he said.
Maxwell asked that county commissioners agendize the issue.
“I don’t want to drop this alarming news in your lap without providing some solutions,” he said.
Maxwell is making a presentation on the issue at Tuesday’s Good Governance Group meeting.
According to a report from Carol Chaplin and Lou Feldman, planning on the Tahoe South Events Center has been going sine 2010.
“This is a significant financial undertaking and in order to deliver this kind of community-wide benefit a public-private partnership would be required,” Feldman said.
Commissioners increased the lodging fee by 1 percent to help fund planning for the project.
They said the project is not being reviewed by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, where an agency staff member has been assigned to work with them.
The project is proceeding with an environmental assessment instead of a full environmental impact report.
“The events center provides a publicly owned venue for entertainment and a wide variety of [year-round] events,” Chaplin told commissioners. “We have extreme shoulder seasons here and those have been growing over the years. Of course our gaming economy has shifted quite a bit.”
Chaplin said the venue is part of the reinvention of the Stateline casino core.
“We’re looking to promote the year around economic vitality and attract the widest possible range of spectator oriented meetings and exhibition events,” she said. “We’re looking to provide some relief to the economy by providing events that can be here in November or here in April, such as trade shows, special events and conventions.”
Chaplin said they hope to have 30-40 multi-day corporate or association events a year.
Feldman said the project design will incorporate the loop road, which is scheduled to go before the TRPA’s governing board before the venue project.
“Addition of the loop road would be value added to this plan, he said. “A lot of thought has gone into access and circulation”
The center will feature 4,200 seats for sporting events.
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