Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 11, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 11, 1997

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4 Thursday, September l !, 1997 PahrumP Valley Gazette Issue of raising room tax raises tempers by Andy Holtmann Gazette Staff PAHRUMP - Not too many people who attended Tuesday's Town Board meeting had a problem with the issue of raising the room tax in Pahrump. The differences of opinion mainly had to do with what to spend the extra revenue generated on. The proposal would raise room tax in the town from six percent to 10 percent. Board member Steve Rainbolt said the money should be used to generate funds for the fire department, which have been in desperate need of new equipment. Board Member Bob Little announced right off the bat that he was in opposition to using the funds as capital expenditures for the fire department. "The whole intent of the room tax was to be used to promote additional tourism," he said. "I'm not saying that the town or fire department does not need the equip- ment, but I think that is something the town residents have to decide on." Little went on to say that Las Vegas has a room tax of nine percent. The money that was generated was used to build a convention center and in advertising tactics that On The Air .America A nostalgic look at the Golden Years of Radio September 27, 1997 7:00 p.m. Pahrump Valley Vineyards Sponsored by Pahrump Visual and Performing Arts Council Adults $4.00 ,,.:. .... Children under 7 free ""':' Barbecue and wine available Advance tickets at Chber of Commerce. The Reading Oasis or Pahrump Winery. "Vv v v v 'v V ultimately brought more revenue to the city. His concern was that if the money was not spent on enticing people to come, then they would stop coming. "That's complete hogwash," Rainbolt said. "You can- not convince me that tourists will stop coming here. We keep dumping on this that we are going to put the tourism industry here out of business. If the tourists come here, they want to feel safe and know we have a top notch fire department." "You're telling me a four percent increase in room tax is going to make them feel safe?" Little asked. "If we're going to raise the room tax, let's spend it on something that's going to generate more tourism." Jack Sanders, representing the Pahrump Valley Win- ery said he was not opposed to a small tax increase, but he questioned the legality of spending on something other than tourism. "This goes beyond just rooms," he said. "These are tax dollars and they come from tourism. Most of our tourism comes from Clark County. We don't get a lot of out of state tourism here. We need to put any money raised back into the tourism industry." Town Attorney Leonard Smith said that while the power to raise room taxes was in the hands of the town, he wanted to check with the State Tax Commission as to the legality of spending the revenue on anything outside of tourism. Vic John son, the director of communications for emer- gency services in Pahrump had a different view. Every time the volunteer fire department has gone before the Town Board, they have to fight for what they need and often times don't get it," Johnson said. "The tourists who come through here do not demand to know where their room taxes are being spent. Here is a chance for revenue for the town that doesn't come from the town." Dennis Duesing of Saddle West Hotel and Casino wanted more clarity on the legality of the room tax plans. He felt it was wrong to spend the generated funds on the fire department and not tourism. He also said that the increased taxes might drive people away. "Don't throw these scare tactics at me because they don't hold any water," Rainbolt said, clarifying that this remark was not directed at Duesing but at the touri., | industry. Chairwoman Charlotte LeVar brought up the issue of RV parks. The parks fall under the category of room tax and would also be affected by the increase. Board Mem- ber Charlie Gronda said that he felt they were not paying their fair share as taxes were not being properly collected. He has plans to begin an investigation. The initial motion made by Rainbolt was withdrawn pending further discussion with the state as to whether the funds can be used for the fire department. '98 Yamaha ATV's are Here , Banshees, Warriors, Blasters, , All New 600 Grizzly, We'll take the wat00 ,r, hold the park please by Andy Holtmann Gazette Staff PAHRUMP - The idea of having to build a second park in the northern end of the valley was not one that Pahrump Town Board members wanted to jump right into. Ted Blosser made a proposal to the board members in which 31 acre feet of water rights would be sold to the town for a cost of $24,800. The only stipulations were that 15 of those 31 acre feet were to be used for a park near the intersection of Greta Boulevard and David Street, and that the park was to be completed within 10 years. Town Board members were concerned that the north end of the valley did not need another park as badly as the south end did. They also did not like the idea of a time limit being thrust upon them. "I think we're kind of putting all our eggs in one end of town if we do this," Board Member Steve Rainbolt Sports West (702) 221-9762 Yamaha, Polaris , Prices on ATVs & all '96 Watercraft  I That Can't be Beat :'k,.l ' DeUvery Available , Service on All Makes and Models said. "I have serious concerns about developing another park in the north when it would be much better suited for the south." Acting Town Manager Peggy Warner said that the land in question was already dedicated to the town with the understanding that a park would eventually be con- structed there. The land is essentially fr6e to the town. Board Member Charlie Gronda said he is not opposed to it becoming a park, but thought that they should have more time to review the proposal. "I just don't want to end up in the same situation as the school district was in," Gronda said. "Calvada Meadows offered them numerous pieces of land and they rejected them. Calvada developed the land and now the district needs another school in the area and they had to pay over $200,000 for the land." Town Attorney Leonard Smith was concerned that if the town took the offer and didn't follow through with the park, they would end up in breech of contract. However, he also said that Blosser could sell that property at any time and the town would lose out on the park and the water rights. While 15 acre feet would be set aside for the park, there would still be 16 acre feet that the town has avail- able t use where they see fit. "I am not opposed to a park, I just want to make sure this is a good deal," Rainbolt said. "Is this 16 acre feet of water really worth the money it's going to cost us?" Board Member Bob Little agreed. He had hoped that all 31 acre feet would be available for the town's use. "If we are going to have a fairground and arena in the south end of town, those 16 acre feet of water rights, if not all 31 would be suited there." he said. Board members decided not to risk a decision until they had more time to review the proposal. The issue was placed on the agenda for the next meeting. If the offer is still on the table by then, the town board hopes to have an answer. I PAHRUMP E. Calvada Blvd.  I 2101 COMMUNITY LIBRARY 727-5930 .j New , Tues, Wed. & Thurs .... 9a.m. to 7p.m. Friday ................ 9a.m. to 5p.m. Saturday .............. lla.m, to 5p.m. Closed Sunday & Monday