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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
October 23, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 23, 1997

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Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, October 23, 1997 11 Impact Fee m / Tax increase hiding in the light example I could give, that is heavily documented, are the funds that were raped from the citicens of Amargosa Valley in order to build the low road shortcut from Pahrump to Death Valley, instead of paving and upgrading the road from Pahr- ump to Amargosa that runs through the Ash Meadows Wild- life Preserve as was promised, and supposedly set in store, i i THIS MAN,S OPINION by Brent Mathewson when the preserve was removed from the tax base that support the citizens of Amargosa. Another example is the tremendous waste of the vast majority of the Payment Equal To Taxes (PETr) fund monies. Through the end of this year, the county will reportedly have received $38 million into the PETT fund account. Look around you and you tell me where the money went. The reason you can't do it is because it's not there. Again, using my home'base as an example, during the time frame that this $38 million will have come into the county, the citizens of Amargosa Valley comprised about 1/30th of the population of Nye County. If we take it as a given that one half of these funds have been spent, foolishly or otherwise, on the "Taj Mahar' in Tonopab and other such matters that would still mean that the community of Amargosa Valley should have received 1/60of the total for their fair share. This amount would have equalled $633,333.33 The true amount that the Amargosa community will have received of PETT money through the end of fiscal year 1997-98 is $91,000. This $91,000 figure is less than 15 percent of the 1/60 fair share. Amargosa Valley is not alone in this regard. All the rest of the communities in Nye County, Pabrump included, are in the same boat. Interestingly enough, the PET/' fund account was suppos- edly sacredly "set aside" and reserved to provide revenues for the exact same services and infrastructure that the county's now county-wide proposed impact fee of $1,600, for all new residential construction, will supposedly provide. If you want to know what really happened to your PETT fund money a complete and thorough audit of the county's books, done at the state level, as has beim pointed out in two On October 7, 1997 at the Nye County Commission meeting in Tonopah Bill no 97-14 was agendized in order to set a time and place for a public meeting to consider an ordinance imposing a $1,600 impact fee on all new residential construction in the Pahrump area for the purpose of funding Nye School District construction, plus remodeling and other building projects in the Pahrump area. Nye County Commissioner, Cameron McRae, spoke and said he would not support the bill in its present form and would only support it if the fee was imposed county-wide. Commissioner Red Copass said he tended to agree with McRae. Commissioner Bob Davis of Tonopah spoke tenta- tively but expressed his feeling that the rest of the county was in a slow growth or stagnant growth mode and he did not feel that the fee needed to be imposed county-wide at this time. Commission Chairman, Dick Carver, tended to agree with Davis. Commissioner Bobby Revert was absent. McRae got back on the microphone and his voice from the speakers was instantly raised several levels in magnitude. Cameron can he, and is, quite intimidating when using this strategy. His ability to intimidate includes not only most in the general audience but also the commission as a whole. Although McRae did not use the words "no brainer" in his diatribe, his voice inflection and attitude strongly reflected the though that he felt this was indeed such a case. A "no brainer" is a political cuphemism that has gained popularity in the last few years that supposedly means some- thing that is so blantantly obvious, so in your face, such an irrefutable fact, that even idiots and morons can see and recognize the truth behind the statement. Interestingly, I have noticed that as the term becomes more popular it is frequently used by politicians and others in high office to mean, "Please don't use your brain to think with, just accept what I have to say as being either true or inevitable." With McRae's voice hounding off the wails and ceiling, the audience was informed that - if these fees were not charged and collected county-wide the available revenue that would otherwise be collected and could be set aside in a sacred trust so that when the time came, down the road, when the rest of the communities in the county needed such revenue it would he there - then these fees would he lost forever. McRac did not address the fact that when such sacred funds had been set aside in the past, that they had only been set aside up to and until the time came that the Nye County Commission could figure out a way to screw a community out of such funds and spend them in another manner. One previous columns, will go a long way to provide the answer. But that's getting offthe point. The point that this article is leading to is that if and when this new $1,600 impact fee goes into effect, whether county-wide or Pahrump-wide, it will include a corresponding property tax increase hiding right in the light. Because nobody is talking about it or addressing this fact, it has been shadowed and colored over. But fees of this type always raise property taxes or depress property values in a relatively short period of time, two or three years at most. In a high growth area, such as Pahrump, all existing homes will increase in value in a short period of time by the amount of the impact fee and this increased valuation will he reflected in a higher property tax being due and payable forevermore. This simple fact cannot he ignored for the obvious reason that to duplicate an existing home on another piece of property would necessitate the payment of this fee, thus increasing the amount of the duplication and floating all existing home values to the new level. This is not a pleasant prospect for those on a fixed income. On the other hand, for those areas where property values are stagnant, such a fee will drive property values of undevel- oped property down by the amount of the impact fee and developed property values would remain the same after discounting some negative impact because of the lowering of undeveloped property values in the general area. This is a simple law of economics and supply and demand as it applies to real estate valuation. If a piece of property has been asking a $5,000 sell price, the addition of a $1,600 impact fee to develop and build on that same piece of property will have a major deflationary effect on the property's value. That, is a no brainer. One thing is certain, if McRae's county-wide impact fee goes forward and is implemented, it will eliminate the ability of new citizens moving into the county to locate in areas other than Pahrump in order to avoid the $1,600 impact fee. If such an escape hatch were available it would of course help drive growth in the rest of the county and improve the economic outlook in some areas that could use a boost. Since I'm not a growth oriented individual, I guess I should thank Cameron for bringing the hammer down and making such an effort to insure, as much as possible, that none of Pahrump's growth will spill over the mountain pass and into Amargosa Valley. Others may feel otherwise. That is this man's opinion. copyright 1997 by Brent Mathewson Letters to the Editor Misprision of felony This letter will be of special interest to employees of Nye County and of the town of Pahrump. Misprision of Felony means maladministration of public office. Said another way, it means: neglect in tireventing or reporting a felony or treason by one not an accessory. So, if you are a county or town employee who has knowledge of felonious "official" acts committed by other county or town employees, elected, appointed, or simply hired, and do not prevent or report it, you are yourself guilty of a serious crime. Such an action on your part displays contempt or disdain for your duty, for the public, which is all of your neighbors, and for the law. Your innocent and trusting neighbors depend upon you and all of your fellows in official employ to choose honor over outlaws in your office or anywhere official business is transacted which you are aware of. To misprize is to despise, to undervalue. There has been a long train of highly valuable information written about in the column entitled 'Whis Man's Opinion" by Brent Mathewson and printed weekly in the Pahrump Valley Gazette. This compounded expose is some of the most valuable information made public in our county in recent years. Mr. Mathewson has recently called upon public employees to report pertinent discrepancies which they are aware of. Remember the term "Turn State's evidence." This can be done directly and officially to Nevada State investigators iftbe employee making the report is unconcerned about keeping his or her job and does not expect any retaliation, subtle or gross. However, Mr. Mathewson has also offered to gather their data and to keep their identities secret. So, you know who you are. The next question is, will you do your duty and put the law and justice ahead of political and bureaucratic corruption? We all know what the corrcct answer is. Sure, it is common knowledge that officials across the length and breadth of the lanffhave long flaunted the law for the sake Of political expediency and their own gain by way of careers and power. Most of us, who are thinking people, are getting bored with business as usual. This foul corruption is the sump at the bottom of most crime and irresponsible behavior in our whole country. If we hope to make a better home for our families and posterity, we must start at the source. Generally, criminals learn to behave as they do from society all around them and particu- larly from those who seem to be in charge and who demonstrate , This" is tt ra!gar which ltwes  onmlon  to at Tmay I I I without regard for his fellow man or woman. "If the big boys can do it, so can I." Of course this is a very big mistake, but a little crook certainly isn't likely to be more thoughtful than those "big boys." Albeit this is probably an unconscious phenomenon. A bad example can only he expected to influence at least some of the population. Let's reset the game and concentrate on truth and honesty in general for a change. An together now, Paul J. Miller Pahrump Another newspaper joins the war! A belated thank-you to the Pahrump Valley Gazette for the excellent tour that you gave my class of your facilities on September 29. My students were very excited about the items that you showed us. Most importantly, they were impressed with the special attention that you gave us and the genuine interest you showed in our class newsletter. L myself, cannot express enough how pleased I was for the interest in what we were attempting to do. You gave the students a sense of importance that I could not impart to them on this project. We are beginning to write and assemble our second newsletter and enthusiasm is still running high. Enclosed you will find a copy of our first newsletter. I hope you'll find it worthy to read. rm proud of their accomplishment. Thanks, too, for the pictures that you ran of my class the following Thursday. We had a great time showing them off'.o anyone who would stand still long enough to look at them. Sincerely, Robin Gouriey, Teacher Third-Sixth Grade Tecopa-Francis Elementary School To the Pahrump Valley Gazette: Thanks for the tour. I really liked it and thanks for the sticker. JJ. Thank you for letting us see your newsp office. I really enjoyed it. Analyn Thanks for everything, newspaper, bumper sticker and teaching us all that stuff about newspapers. Tice Thank you for taking our picture Bailey Thank you for letting us be in the news paper. You showed us a lot. M] GOURLEY'S C[ OCTOBER. 1997 Oreana and the gopher On Sept. gopher bit 22nd her she Oreane cried. got bit by After she gopher, got bit she She went to thought it. the office. was a rabbit,. She was Now she scared said it when the doesn't opher bit hurt. net. Orelnl slid it was on the . . ' / , The Principal Mr. Copeland Mr. Copland is om  principal, He plays with us, Hisnice, l-kis helpful. He is tim. Mr. Copa is married to Mrs. Copland, our K-2 teacher. They have two lads. He was born m Pasadena. California. Hc went to college at Cal Slate Los Alts He has been principal here for tb.e years. P5. peep=tea by J *13.,1/ IIII II I i i,i ,, i The Pahrump Valley Gazette corrects mistakes. Errors should be brought to the attention of the newspaper by calling 727-5583. eft All opinions expressed on the letters page are those of the artist or author indicated. The Gazette reserves the right to edit all letters for length and libel. Furthermore, letters with names withhdd will only be published ff a legitimate fear of retribution exists.