Although they’re still without an official date for the introduction of their Tahoe County bill, members of the Tahoe Citizens Committee are gearing up for a fight.
The group recently hired Guy Hobbs, financial consultant and former Clark County comptroller, to review and develop a formula for distributing sales tax revenue under the TCC proposal.
The Supplemental City County Relief Tax – distributed from the state and within counties – has been a major source of controversy between the TCC and Douglas County officials.
According to the Tahoe County feasibility study prepared by Lionel Sawyer & Collins, about 20 percent of Douglas County’s allocation from the state would be diverted to the new county, on the rationale that Douglas would no longer have 20 percent of the population to support. The same scenario is applied to Incline Village, taking three percent of Washoe County’s share.
Without this additional revenue, the new county becomes much less financially feasible, said TCC lobbyist Morgan Baumgardner.
Dan Holler, Douglas County manager, maintains that if the law is changed to allow such a “diversion” of funds, Douglas County will lose even more revenue than originally thought, forcing an increase in property taxes over the state-imposed cap.
Holler also expressed concern that it is not Douglas County, but the various valley General Improvement Districts that would suffer the largest hit.
But Kelly Krolicki, TCC executive coordinator, said she adjusted the current formula so that the valley GIDs receive virtually the same amount from the state as they do now, so only Douglas County’s general fund is impacted.
Hobbs’ job will be to double-check Krolicki’s calculations and assumptions.
“If it doesn’t work, he has to come up with a better fix,” Krolicki said.
Complicating things further is the fact that a new distribution formula is being considered by Nevada legislators under SB 254, which could change the way money is allocated within the new county. Hobbs also served on the technical committee for that bill.
Confusion over whether or not the new legislation will be a detriment for Lake Tahoe GIDs still exists, as the Nevada Department of Transportation has still not released spreadsheets reflecting otherwise.
Those numbers are due out Tuesday.
Krolicki said she is also in the process of gathering background material and preparing the group’s presentation to the legislative committee that will hear the bill.
The TCC intends to focus on the history of what they regard as their unique predicament, as well as details of the solution they believe is most viable – a new county within the Lake Tahoe Basin.
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