Reno, Nev. August 4, 2020. The following highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:
1. County Commission approves final settlement of Incline Village Property Tax Refunds. After seventeen years of legal review and challenges, today Washoe County Commissioners approved a much anticipated proposed settlement agreement between Washoe County and the Village League to Save Incline Assets, Inc. to pay tax refunds to Incline Village/Crystal Bay residential property owners in an estimated amount of $56 million.
At the heart of the lengthy series of legal challenges was the constitutionality of the methodologies used to calculate the taxable value of properties in Incline Village/Crystal Bay with features such as views of Lake Tahoe or beachfront locations. The most recent action was on November 12, 2019 when the Board of County Commissioners authorized the filing of an appeal of the District Court order, which led to a referral of Washoe County and the Village League to Save Incline Assets, Inc. to the Supreme Court’s Settlement Program.
Continued negotiations between Washoe County and the Village League to Save Incline Assets, Inc. are what led to the final terms of the settlement agreement which included the dismissal of Washoe County’s appeal of the District Court’s decision in Village League to Save Incline Assets, Inc., et al. vs. State of Nevada, et al., Case No. CV03-06922, the dismissal of other related cases, and a new delayed payment timeline with a built-in interest holiday period for Washoe County.
Refund payments are scheduled to begin July 1, 2021 for the 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 tax years in the total estimated amount of $56 million, the County’s portion of which is $23.8 million and the remaining portion of which is attributable to the Washoe County School District, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Incline Village Improvement District, State of Nevada. The proposed agreement includes a two year interest holiday period during which interest on the refunds will not accrue from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023, and provides that refunds be completed by June 21, 2024.
“ I think this Board of County Commissioners should be commended for engaging on this tough issue and giving it thoughtful consideration when they could have kicked the can down the road for future Boards to deal with,” said Washoe County Manager Eric Brown. “The Courts have spoken. It is time to pay the refunds and move on.”
Staff will return to the Board of County Commission at a future meeting to report on anticipated fiscal impacts and propose funding options for the Board’s consideration.
Commissioners voted 3 to 1 (Commissioner Jung dissenting) to approve the settlement; Commissioner Hartung was not in attendance.
2. Commissioners accept Coronavirus Relief Fund “CARES Act” federal assistance to help offset impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board heard a presentation by staff on the regional allocation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) federal assistance provided through the State of Nevada Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The regional allocation of 86.1 million, includes more than $20.2 million for Washoe County. A majority of the first allocation covers critical expense costs incurred from the initial COVID-19 public health emergency response including testing and tracing efforts, isolation and quarantine sites, staffing, human services, planning for safe reopening and recovery, and small business economic support with the remaining portion allotted for planned response.
Washoe County will be submitting documentation to the State to recover $10 million in costs incurred between March and June in response to the public health emergency including:
- Medical: $1,829,719 to include testing and contact tracing, alternate care and quarantine sites.
- Public Health: $4,642,388 includes reimbursement of Incident Management Team Regional Response, personal protection equipment, homeless assistance for social distancing and sanitation, public outreach, and sanitization of county facilities.
- Staff: $1,157,748 to cover payroll expense for public safety and human services personnel.
- Public Health Compliance: $1,987,554 for senior support food access and delivery, county employee telework capabilities, social distancing and sanitation compliance.
- Economic Support: $500,000 for economic assistance to small businesses.
Plans for the second allocation of $10 million of CARES Act Funding, due to the state by Sept. 1, 2020, include a regional community safety/engagement campaign, funds for costs associated with the women’s homeless shelter, software updates for the call center, and COVID-19 related personnel and technology needs. “In the second disbursement cycle, all submissions will be on a reimbursement basis,” said Assistant County Manager Christine Vuletich, “Therefore we will experience a more dynamic planning process, allowing flexibility to focus on our most immediate needs, and any changes in needs as they evolve.”
For the latest COVID-19 updates, resources, online symptom and testing information. and business guidelines, visit the Regional Information Center website: Covid19Washoe or follow @covid19washoe on Twitter.