Friday, April 24, 2009

Possible Public Funding Options for a new Carson City Library

The April 23 meeting of the Library Board of Trustees and the Advisory Committee on Public Funding Options for a new library was attended by more than 20 people. The meeting provided information on available public funding options.

The information was presented by Linda Ritter, who works on special projects for Carson City- but was serving in a volunteer capacity to assist the Library Board of Trustees, joining her in the presentation was Al Kramer, Carson City Treasurer and Nick Providenti, Carson City Finance Director.

You may watch the meeting via Access Carson City -choose the April 23, 2009 meeting.

Here is a recap of the presentation:

Funding Options for a New Facility

Bonding for a new facility
Possible re-payment sources

  • Property Taxes
  • Sales Taxes
  • Operating Revenue
  • Proceeds from sale/lease of existing facility

Property Tax Override

  • Additional property taxes can be levied to provide revenue for bonded indebtedness.
  • The combined tax rate for Carson City is $3.3024. The property tax cap is $3.66, leaving $0.3576 available for debt service.
  • The debt levy require a positive vote by the public.

Sales Taxes

  • Sales taxes can only be levied where it is specifically authorized by the Nevada State Legislature.

There are two special sales tax levies authorized by law:

  • Several options for a sales tax to be used for specific purpose requiring voter approval (NRS 377A)
  • One option for additional sales taxes can be approved by the Board of Supervisors (NRS 377B)

Estimates of sales tax revenues for debt service should be conservative to insure enough revenue each year to retire the debt.

Permitted Special Sales Tax

Infrastructure (NRS377B), 0.25%

Special Purposes (NRS 377A) Parks, Open Space, Libraries etc., 0.25%

Special Purposes (NRS 377A) Swimming Pools, 0.25%

Special Purposes (NRS 377A)- Roads, 0.25%

Special Purposes (NRS 377A)- Tourism, 0.25%

Carson City Special Sales Taxes

V & T- NRS 377B, 0.125%

Roads- NRS 377A, 0.250%

Parks and Open Space- NRS 377A, 0.250%

Special Sales Taxes Available

Pursuant to NRS 377A (requires a positive public vote)

  • 0.25% for roads
  • 0.25% for tourism
  • 0.25% for swimming pools

Pursuant to NRS 377B (requires a positive vote by the Board of Supervisors only)

  • 0.0125% facilities relating to public safety or to cultural and recreational or judicial functions

Operating Revenue

  • If operating a facility generates revenue, that revenue may be used to offset debt service.
  • Revenue estimates used in these cases should indicate a steady revenue level over the life of the bond.

Proceeds from existing facility

  • The existing facility could be sold and the proceeds applied to the new facility.
  • The existing facility could be leased and the proceeds applied to debt service for the new facility.

Financing Options

Property Tax $0.05 Tax Levy = $12.5 million Bonded Amount-

$43.75 annually for a home valued at $250,000 (Taxpayer Impact)

Sales Tax 1/8% Tax Levy = $12 million Bonded Amount-

$7.50 annually for a family that spends $500/month on taxable purchases

(Taxpayer Impact)

Operating Revenue No tax levy= $6 million-No Bonded Amount-No taxpayer impact- Bonded amount is based upon $500,000 in annual operating revenue.

Proceeds from Existing Facility- No tax levy-Unknown Bonded Amount-No taxpayer Impact-it may be difficult to determine the exact proceeds that may be recovered din advance

Other considerations....

  • Partnerships with other entities should be explored
  • Shared public space infrastructure
  • Shared operating costs
  • Increased opportunity for private activity
  • A total of 18,257 Carson City residents voted in the 2006 election
  • Setting a time line for planning and financing is imperative

The presentation also included a lively question and answer period- including-

  • any property tax override would be outside of the 3% cap on future increases for residential properties
  • there is only one sales tax option currently available - the 1/8 cent that the Board of Supervisors can levy

So please watch the video of the meeting for more details- of both the issues raised and the possible solutions.

Funding a new library is undoubtedly a complex and quite a daunting part of building a new public library, but having the facts and possible ideas in place in advance will help the community decide what is in their best interest.

At the next Library Board meeting public art as a component of the project will be discussed as an advisory committee topic, the presentation will be done by the Carson City Arts and Cultural Coalition. An article provided by the National Endowment for the Arts that might help start that discussion can be found here.

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