"Community planning in the Truckee Meadows has failed to keep pace with environmental and economic impacts of growth. And, as a result, the quality of life in this oasis is in danger of being suffocated by growth-related problems. But that's an old story in America where, for decades, cities have endured explosive growth, then rotted at the core and become virtually unlivable."
(Nevada State Journal, April 9, 1978)
Those of you who care about the Mt. Rose Scenic Corridor, need to read the articles below.
Did you know?
- Washoe is subsidizing Reno with free Crime Lab (at $1.4 million yearly) , Raven Helicopter, Homeless center support and other free services while Reno sues Washoe and refuses Automatic Fire Aid? Think of the deputies in Incline that could support.
- Reno Police and Fire career personnel are the highest compensated in the USA.
- Reno is $500 million in debt and is the highest taxed city in Nevada!
- Washoe County has the highest property taxes in Nevada!
- Washoe Schools want to raise your sales tax to 8.265% ... which are the highest in state.
- We have a plan to greatly increase deputies in Incline and Mt Rose area at very little cost. Ask us!
- The developers want marijuana shops along Mt Rose Highway.
- Water and wells continue to be a matter we watch closely.
- For even more information, go to the Reno Public Safety website.
Fire Service Issues: Update
The Fire Services Issue with Reno & Washoe County is complicated. For many years to 2012, Reno Fire (RFD) provided fire services/ emergency medical response but not ambulance to much of populated Washoe County. Some was provided by others: NDF, Tahoe Fire, Airport, other Washoe areas, etc. Sparks has their own department. Some of Washoe was provided by Sierra Fire. In 2012 Washoe County essentially opted to cancel their contract with Reno due mainly to costs. They then essentially merged Sierra Fire with what is now called Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TM).
In 2011 and again in 2012, running thru June 2014 Reno applied for federal grants known as SAFER under the joint names and based the applications on the expanded population and size of Washoe; 6000 sq mi while Reno is 100 sq mi. After the split and after getting the grant Reno canceled automatic aid with Washoe and refused to share any of the grant. This would seem in clear contradiction to the promises and requirements of the grant.
School Bond Ballot Measure
The massive 781 million dollar possible Washoe County Schools building ballot measure may be doomed to fail unless they listen to the public. At hearings the public was justifiably distrustful of the government and dysfunctional school board managing any money and keeping their promises.
The measure MUST
- Be set up an independent untouchable fund.
- It must be managed by other than the school board.
- It must prohibit existing costs from being transferred to the fund.
- It must also provide a mechanism for taxpayer challenge.
- As with other measures, it should call for an up to capped amount, approved by the governing committee in open meeting, not fixed so as not to over-generate too much revenue.
- It absolutely must have a 10 year max sunset clause.
The district wants $781 million over 9 years. Ouch! It appears that would be a sales tax increase to 8.265%. 8% cap is more than enough, here is why:
There are other options. Washoe County property tax revenues for schools are already increasing at “more than 4%” annually*. The legislature’s School Choice Voucher Program, once instituted will reduce overcrowding and save money. As we saw with the Damonte Ranch fire station, private “build lease or sale” can build facilities quicker and cheaper than can the government bureaucracy. The proposal is inflated with pork not related to building.
Prediction: If the school committee doesn’t listen, the measure will fail and if not, before the ink is dry, money from existing costs and salaries will be funneled out of the fund leaving general school fund money for pay increases before a shovel hits the dirt.
History shows us over and over that government promises can’t be trusted. The Nevada Department of Taxation has issued a written opinion, dated January 19, 2016 making clear that ballot promises are not binding or worth the paper they are written on. Also under NRS 288 “available” money may and in some cases must be used for pay raises!
Most tax raising measures fail and this one may face other tax raising competition. The proposal is also packed with pork not directly related to building such as school nutrition and $100 million for possible inflation. If inflation occurs, prices already go up and thus sales tax revenue goes up. Nothing is said about what would happen if there is no inflation. Do you really think they would give the money back?
In 1996 the City of Reno (measure R-3) promised us in a clearly worded measure that we would have more firefighters and stations. Today we have less and two closed stations. The $5 million generated goes to the general fund and is no where to be found on your tax bill! The same with Safety 88 for more cops. A similar attempt was made to raid the dedicated Animal Services Tax. The community distrust of the government and the School District is high and well founded.
Washoe County is the highest (or tied) property taxed county in Nevada and the sales tax increase would push us ahead of Vegas to the highest. With massive growth, each new building already generates $5000 in developer fees and new homes and taxes at current appraised values.
Nevada Dept of Taxation Letter of January 19, 2016 on R-3
Reno City attorney Letter dated on R-3
Copy of R-3 ballot including explanation and arguments for and against
*Washoe County Budget, page 19 on property taxes
**An easy example of how bureaucrats “cheat” on bond measures would be moving existing maintenance (even janitorial) costs and salaries to the new fund. In other words; millions going for no improvement at all. Even an attempt to say that Administrator Smith spends 25% of his/her time on building issues so their 25% of their salary is from the new measure,
- Why does Washoe County give Reno 1.4 million in free Crime Lab services?
- 2014 Fire Service Report (This is a 29 page report that may take a while to download.)
The County finally admitted stealing our water and has a plan to compensate Callahan Ranch - Mt. Rose area residents retroactively.
Contact Washoe County Water or see: http://www.washoecounty.us/water/swtmgroundwater
Also, if you own property in the City of Reno expect a jump of over 20% in your property tax. For info go to RenoPublicSafety.org or contact us. We’ll show you.
Cathy Bowland, Ginger Peirce, orBeth Honbien are the “go to” people on this. Washoe is switching over to TWMA for water and wells. As I understand it, they pay (partially) for a one time deepening of your well then you are screwed.
TMWA contact: email@example.com or http://tmwa.com
Washoe Well background: www.washoecounty.us/repository/files/10/WellMitigationFramework
Washoe and others are hurting financially but Reno is really broke. North Las Vegas and Nye County are worse off but Reno is $500 million in debt with bonds it can’t pay (forbearance). That is another story you should look at if curious to see government run amuck. There are various articles on Reno’s financial difficulty, but is it serious. Most deals with the very bad bond decision Reno made (trench, parking garage, event center). Also Reno’s cops and firefighters are by far the highest paid outside of Clark County if not nationally and Reno just gave them a new generous two year contract with no provision to reopen if things get worse. But wait there’s more. In order to give the firefighters a raise, they closed two fire stations! Now that we have Automatic Fire Aid mandated by the state- that adds the disproportionate burden to Washoe & Truckee Meadows. Why not staff those stations with volunteers? Because RFD union contract FORBIDS it! Drive by Skyline Station or the Somersett #19/. Look at the rusting firetrucks inside unattended!.
Check out the website TransparentNevada and look at Reno salaries and North Vegas. Reno has firefighters making almost $300,000 in salary and benefits but it gets worse. These supervisors took no pay cut under the current salary and the 1,000 pound elephant may be health care. Reno, unlike most other agencies, gives police and fire retirees some form of uncapped lifetime healthcare/ medical care. How do you calculate
The Forest Area Plan
In spite of overwhelming community opposition, the county approved this area master plan under Washoe County's unique One Map system where developers were able to sneak in zoning changes. It added sprawl and commercial activity along the Mt Rose Scenic Corridor and a 632 cluster home development at the end of Fawn. That developer made great promises about schools, solar, etc. none of which justified such a large development in a rural area of minimum 1 ac parcels. Of course as the economy went sour, he went bankrupt and the promises went away.
When our elected officials get most their campaign money from pro-development sources, the basic tenets of a democracy are threatened. We need to elect neutral officials and to pass ballot measures that protect urban sprawl and such unethical behavior.
As a result of our fight the county finally agree to do away with the re-zoning procedure done with Matera Ridge (One Map system) and move to the system used by almost all of the rest of Nevada.
Beth Honebein and others continue to fight the good fight and keep us informed. We can't do it alone.
Our Forest Service Land
As part of the plan, the now bankrupt Matera Ridge LLC, working hand in hand with county officials, sought to take over our 375 acres of US Forest Service land east of Fawn Ln. Thanks to neighborhood opposition we fought this back. Developers will surely continue to try to take over this land so we must be vigilant and continue to propose alternatives such as a park similar to Rancho San Rafael. Once it is gone, it is lost forever.
We have created this page to give the builders an opportunity to present their side of the controversy. If you are a builder who wishes to submit articles, photos, etc., please send them to
We have no articles at this time.
The photos below document some of the damage being done to the Mt. Rose Scenic Corridor.