weather icon Clear

Carbone seeks extension of impact fee moratorium

Commissioner Frank Carbone Tuesday surprised fellow board member Lorinda Wichman with his motion to reimpose a moratorium on impact fees through the end of 2014, following a flurry of last minute building permit applications by developers trying to meet a six-month grace period.

Commissioner Butch Borasky questioned whether the agenda item was worded correctly. It said discussion and deliberation but not action. The board acted in the absence of District Attorney Brian Kunzi.

Commissioners had a moratorium on impact fees for two years in an attempt to draw business during the recession which they voted to let expire at the end of 2013, but people who applied for the building permit before Dec. 31 and received the permit within six months were exempt.

Eight developers avoided the re-imposition of impact fees by applying for building permits before Dec. 31: the Armscor ammunition company expansion, the new Holiday Inn Express motel, the new Dollar General store, a new China Wok restaurant, a Big Five Sporting Goods store, Valley Electric Association’s new campus, a 160-room assisted living facility and a 50,000-square-foot facility that was kept anonymous.

Commissioners in January voted to allow developers to make impact fee payments up until the certificate of occupancy was issued instead of when the building permit is issued. A $1,961 impact fee is paid to the county to construct single-family, detached homes. The commercial impact fee ranges from 10 cents per square foot for projects 25,000 square feet or less, down to six cents per square foot for buildings over 400,000 square feet.

The school district still charges a $1,600 residential construction tax.

Forty-four building permits were issued in December according to reports by the Pahrump Building and Safety Department, 30 in January, 22 in February and 33 in March. There were only two building permits for single-family homes in December, five in January and none in February but 10 single-family building permits were issued in March, with six of those being new homes going up in Mountain Falls.

Carbone said there were issues with whether some of the applications in the approval process qualified for exemptions from impact fees.

“We gave people a six-month grace period and got more applications turned in than we ever had suspected. We also had an issue with the county dealing with those applications,” he said.

Carbone said his motion to extend the moratorium another year was made to avoid finger pointing at the county because people couldn’t get their building permit within six months to qualify for the impact fee exemption. Carbone also wanted clarification if county commissioners reimpose impact fees what they would be used for.

Commissioners Dan Schinhofen and Wichman voted against the motion. Schinhofen said impact fees made it possible to do the Homestead Road-Highway 160 intersection improvements, plans for reconstructing Manse Road and a multitude of other projects. The sheriff’s department used impact fee money from their $137 per residence for a $401,000 Simunitions training center at the multi-purpose training facility on East Mesquite Avenue.

“This is a total surprise to me,” Wichman said. “I don’t know what the hell we’re talking about and I’m not going to vote on anything I don’t have information about.”

But Wichman supports the idea of impact fees. She said the county has a limited tax base, impact fees allow developers in a certain area to pay for improvements just in their area without burdening countywide taxpayers.

“You don’t want to pay for something in Smoky Valley. Impact fees take care of the cost of something so the entire tax base does not have to pay for that,” she said. Wichman is from Big Smoky Valley, the rest of the county commissioners are from Pahrump.

Commissioner Donna Cox said she was opposed to impact fees. She said developers began coming to Pahrump in the 1980s and 1990s after Clark County imposed impact fees. But when the moratorium was lifted last November, Nye County Interim Community Development Director Darrell Lacy told commissioners the impact fees didn’t play a role in preventing developers from coming to Pahrump during the two-year moratorium period.

Impact fees brought in $1.7 million during the 2006-2007 fiscal year, their first full year of implementation during the housing boom, but dropped to $99,808 by the 2010-11 fiscal year, the last full year before the moratorium.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Webinar on how to avoid being a victim of a COVID-19 scam

The National Consumers League will be hosting a virtual panel event to teach the community how to avoid being a victim of a possible COVID-19 scam.

Additional $20M in PETS grant funds available

Gov. Steve Sisolak, the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Economic of Development on Wednesday announced an additional infusion of $20 million in to the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support grant program, which opened for applicants Monday.

Business owner seeking toy donations for kids

A local man, along with his brother, are working to put smiles on children’s faces just in time for the Christmas season.

Angel Tree program accepting applications until Oct. 31

Each December as the year comes to a close, households all around the country begin to prepare for the most wonderful time of the year, the Christmas season, with boughs of holly, strings of garland, bright, cheerful lights and of course, Christmas trees festooned with decorations, all in anticipation of Christmas morning when children will race to unwrap presents and delight over the gifts they have received. But for families who may be facing financial troubles, the joy of the season can be lost in the burden of trying to find a way to put those presents under the tree.

Pahrump Fairgrounds detention basin contract awarded

Construction crews will be heading out to the Pahrump Fairgrounds sometime in the near future to undertake the next step in development at the site, with a detention basin and drainage ditches to set the stage for what is envisioned to one day become a major recreational destination in the valley.

Death Valley campgrounds now open for visitors

As cooler temperatures descend upon the Southwest, officials at Death Valley National Park recently announced the start of camping season.

Aviation art contest open to state’s youth

The Nevada Department of Transportation is inviting Nevada schoolchildren to participate in the National Association of State Aviation Officials’ art contest celebrating the ways in which aviation, hang gliding, hot air ballooning and other air sports connect people across the world.

Unemployment claims rise again, continued claims fall

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced Friday that initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 8,964 for the week ending Oct. 10, up 1,023 claims, or 12.9%, compared to last week’s total of 7,941 claims.

Registration now open for Poetry Out Loud contest

Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the Nevada Arts Council is proud to announce the 2021 Nevada Poetry Out Loud competition.