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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
July 10, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 10, 1997

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, July 10, 1997 13 Nye taxes levitate while taxpayers sleep-in darkness At a special meeting of the Nye County Commission held June 27, The Commission raised the total county property tax rate by 4 1/4 percent in a move that will add approximately $320,000 in additional funds to the county coffers in FY 1997- 98. The action, which took place via telephone conference call, happened just two working days before the start of the Nye County fiscal year that began July 1. The new total county rate now stands at $1.2977 per $100 of assessed valuation of your property. The rate for FY 1996- 97 was $1.2447. On June 1992, the total county rate stood at $0.9470. In other words, since June 1992, until today, the total county tax rate for property taxes has risen 37 percent. This latest increase will show up on the property tax bills that Nye County residents will be receiving in the mail during the next few weeks. The increases will be reflected in the rates paid under the following line items; County general, medical and general industry, museum, juvenile probation, health clin- ics, and capitol projects. Now that the Nye County Commissioners have commit- ted themselves to using PETr funds (Payment Equal to Taxes) to meet county payroll, the taxpayers should perhaps not be surprised to learn that the commission feels it appropri- ate to raise property taxes, again to pay for essential and not so essential county services. The commission's public stance is that next year, in FY' 1998-99, there's gonna be a train wreck, and that the County Employees Union had better not count on PET'I" funds to make payroll at that time because the commission intends to spend it all so there won't be any left to fund payroll. What they are not telling you is that to meet payroll in FY 1997-98 will require the expenditure of PETT money not yet received and that won't be received until November of this year. What's going to be so different about the budget process in FY 1998-99? While on the subject of the Nye County budget process you might want to consider the following. (1) The FY 1997-98 County budget was not finalized until June 27, 1997, at the special meeting of the Nye County Commission referred to at the beginning of this article. (2) Nevada statutes require that this proposed budget needed to be submitted to the Nevada Department of Taxation for its review and approval no later than May 20, 1997. You may remember that the May 19, 1997, meeting of the Nye County Commission was scheduled a day early so that the May 20 deadline could be met. Of course there was a lot of smoke and mirrors going on at that time and the majority'of the commission, and certainly not the county manager or his assistant, ever intended to meet this deadline. In fact, not a single decision having to do with the FY 1997-98 budget was made during the May 19 meeting. Any reader who is questioning whether the county is in noncompliance with Nevada statutes in this matter, please feel free to call the Nevada Department of Taxation- Local Govern- ment Finance Office at (702) 687-4892. They are friendly and professional people who will probably be glad to hear from you since thdy are presently conducting an investigation into Nye County's finafices. While you have them on the phone, please show your support and encouragement as to the audit they are conducting as part of this investigation. Unfortunately the Nye County Commission is not the only governing body that some Nye County taxpayers have reason to fear when it comes to having their pocket books lightened up. A case in point is the good people in Amargosa and tactics taken by the Amargosa Library Destrict's Board of Directors as this board has blind-sided the Amargosa taxpayer with prop- erty tax increases three years running. Prior to the district being formed in FY 1995-96, the Amargosa Library was the pride of the local community and with good reason for being so. The taxes that were graciously paid prior to the district being formed represented 38 percent of the total town's budget. The tax rate to pay for it was 3 1/2 times what was paid in Beatty and 1/2 times what was paid in Pahrump. But, by God, they had ibrary they could be proud of and they were. The new book section of the Amargosa Library at that time was crammed with all the best sellers and if you wanted a special book ordered all you had to do was ask and it was done. The librarian at the time knew everyone's special interests and was constantly purchasing books relating to those interests. It was common practice to walk into the library and have this lady recommend new books which had come in that she felt you might be especially interested in. She was seldom wrong. There is a woman in Amargosa Valley that I am quite closely associated with who happens to be one of the original founders of the Amargosa Library. We are both voracious readers and a trip to the Amargosa Library just a couple of years ago was always a pleasurable experience, which we repeated often. Time and again the librarian greeted my companion with the words, "You are my favorite customer, I just love it when you come in." Things are a little different now. Since being reorganized two years ago into a library district, which is run by a board of directors, actions taken by this board have caused the tax rate paid to support the library toincrease by 21 percent. This rate (.3507) is now 11 1/2 times what taxpayers pay in Pahrump (.0301). The increases in assessed valuation that has taken place in the Amargosa Library District in the last two years translates into an enor- THIS MAN'S OPINION by Brent Mathewson mous increase in total rev- enue to run the library. In spite of this fact, some inexplicable changes have taken place in the Amargosa Library. One of the more startling changes is that in the "new books" section there are only about a dozen books on display. Of this dozen, only about half are new releases and some have copyrights dated 10 and 12 years ago. It's been a while since I've been in the library and as I walked down the aisles, I recognized a lot of old friends on the shelves and precious few new ones. Something is clearly amiss at the Amargosa Library and the taxpayers are getting the royal shaft because of it. The reason I don't frequent the library anymore is because of an incident that happened a couple of years ago shortly after the new librarian took over. The very close associate of mine that I mentioned earlier had gone to the library and among her selections was a six-week old copy of"U.S. News and World Report" magazine. About a month later, she received a notification in the mail from the Amarg0sa librar- ian stating that since she had not rurned the ine, her library privileges were now revo ..... Included in the notification were copies of two pieces of printed material. One was a copy of a state law stating that a person could receive prison time upon being convicted of the willful destruction of library books. The other was a copy of a newspaper article that included a picture. In the picture was a woman standing in a prison yard with the accompanying article, describing the crimes against the library that she had been charged with to get in such apredicament. The Amargosa librarian had highlighted various words in this material that she apparently felt were appropriate to get her message across. The insensitivity, the crudeness, the arrogance, displayed by this public servant when a friendly telephone call would have been more than sufficient to gain the desired result --- against a member of the community that has dedicated ad spent thousands of hours of time and labor, free of charge, is inexcusable in my mind. As a further slap in the face, the Amargosa Library District Board of Directors are appointed by the Nye County Com- mission and cannot be voted out of office by the taxpayers. It seems to be the attitude of this board, chaired by Ralph McCracken, who also happens to be vice-chairman of the Amargosa Town Advisory Board, that if the citizens would just not pay attention to the tax increases imposed on them,' then nobody would notice. I believe that it is high past time for the people sleeping in darkness to wake up and turn on the lights. That is this man's opinion Copyright 1997 by Blent Mathewson Valley Electric Association has increased the monthly fee for its security fights from $6.30 (if both a power pole and light was installed) to $8.30. The change is effective August 1, 1997. The cost for the light, if no pole was required, stays the same at $5 a month. In addi- tion, the co-op's board ofdirec- VEA Hikes Security Light Rate to Reflect Increased Expenses tors last month also decided to limit the number of security lights to one per property. The increase in the Out- door Lighting Service (Sched- ule OL in the co-op's rates schedule) more closely re- flects the actual cost to oper- ate a VEA security light. The old rate had been in effect since 1982. Valley Electric Association, Inc. Service Foruln Thermax Clean Care Center 8peng in Steam Cleanin Home Business * Auto * RV ~ Equipment, Sales and Rentals .. Rent the world's best Steam Cleaner (702) 727-1339 SS for 24 hours 1200 N. 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