Should tax-payer dollars finance an event center at Stateline?

Written by: Bob Russo

The Douglas County Board of County Commissioners, in a 3 to 2 vote, passed Redevelopment Area 2 in 2016, which provides taxpayer-dollars to the tune of $113 million over 30 years to fund an event center at Stateline

Perhaps an event center is a good idea to help spruce up the area around the lake and draw more business to the area.  However, this is all highly speculative.  We really don’t know how well a 6000-seat event center will do given its location away from a major airport and questionable winter weather conditions. 

Sadly, this project will divert County funds away from much-needed County projects, such as improving our roads and infrastructure, sheriff facilities, etc.    It should be noted that during the legislative session of 2019, Senate Bill 461 was passed (effective July 2019) that, according to the Nevada Legislative website, allows casinos to “impose a surcharge on lodging within the Tahoe Township in Douglas County.  “There is hereby imposed a tourism surcharge of $5 on the per night charge for the rental of lodgings in the Township.”

It is estimated that this tourist surcharge will raise approximately $137 million over a 30-year period, which will more than cover the cost of an $80 million events center.

Two Sources of Funding

Does this event center need two sources of funding?  Should tax-payer dollars be used to finance this project when an alternate source of tourist funds is available through SB 461?  Personally, I don’t think so.

As many of you may know, there is a referendum petition circulating that aims to gather enough signatures to place RDA#2 on the November ballot, giving County residents a voice – yes or no – on tax-payer funding of this project. 

Allow the People a Voice!

County Commissioners supportive of this project, knowing that this measure may be defeated in a popular vote, are attempting to do an end-run around this referendum by earmarking $25 million of RDA#2 funds for this project before the November election.  So, much for allowing the people a voice! 

T With an election coming up in June, we will have the opportunity to elect two new County Commissioners, Walt Nowosad and Mark Gardner, both whom I believe will serve as voices for the majority in Douglas County, and focus our tax dollars on projects that will benefit the whole County. 

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Elect “Walt” Nowosad for Commissioner

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