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renoskier

Outreach by an elected official.

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I got this in my Inbox yesterday and thought it was pretty interesting. Below is an email from our local Washoe County Assessor. Although I voted for him, I don't actually remember how I got on his email list. 

An Assessor obviously has a very important job for any community but it is rarely overtly political. Yes, there are often legal dispute regarding tax valuations but I can never remember an assessor jumping into the fray regarding land use issues and in this case, actively questioning the elected city council's decision/goal. This potential purchase involves the Reno Gazette Journal building and property several blocks east of downtown; it's been on the market for a couple of years. It is prime real estate and if this sale is consummated, it will be coming off the tax rolls.

I absolutely agree with his reasoning, there's no reason for a public facility to be located on such a valuable parcel. And I really applaud his "damn the torpedoes" willingness to make his views heard.

Questionable Highest and Best Use!

(RENO, NV) -- Washoe County Assessor Mike Clark is asking the Reno City Council and City Staff to reassess the financial implications of purchasing the Reno Gazette-Journal offices and re-purposing the 7-acre riverside parcel as a new Reno Police Department headquarters

"While we can appreciate the need for a new RPD headquarters, the fiscal impact statement from the staff report is inaccurate," Clark wrote in a letter delivered to the Council on Monday. "It does not take into account the lifetime of lost property tax because of its use as a government facility. An RPD Headquarters may not be the highest and best use for this unique parcel along the Truckee River."

Clark said in the letter that the role of the Washoe County assessor is to be the taxpayers’ representative in the office, tasked with ensuring that they are well-served both in terms of issues related to their assessments and providing the state and local government accurately assessed values on property within the County. It is through property taxes that Washoe County's governments provide services to the people within their jurisdictions

"Not getting a parcel's true value, or worth, puts an unnecessary burden on the rest of the taxpayers," he wrote.

The Staff report says the City has designated $7 million in this year's budget for the purchase of the parcel at 955 Kuenzli Street. Another $5 million is being donated to City for site improvements by the William H. Pennington Foundation. The total cost of purchase, permitting and construction is estimated at $26.4 million, according to the Staff Report.
"The unique riverside location may also require permitting and mitigation that is not indicated  in the project estimates," Clark wrote. "With a motor pool facility next to the region's drinking water supply, there may extraordinary environmental mitigation costs associated with this type of land use," he wrote.

Clark explained in the letter that the uniqueness and scarcity of a developable downtown river site should be taken into consideration in any purchase price or assessment of the property.

"Reno’s emerging presence in the high-tech and manufacturing economy has stimulated positive growth and notability" Clark wrote "Corporate headquarters or office space,  downtown housing, resort or commercial/retail may offer a higher and better use alternative for this parcel."


 

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It makes sense.  But you are right, I don't see this stuff from an assessor in my mailbox ever.

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Someone's running for state Treasurer next time around.

But this is weird/interesting.

He's an appraiser, and so am I, and I've thought about how to making some things I see happening more public.  If I had his position I could see myself doing something similar, maybe.

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40 minutes ago, renoskier said:

I got this in my Inbox yesterday and thought it was pretty interesting. Below is an email from our local Washoe County Assessor. Although I voted for him, I don't actually remember how I got on his email list. 

An Assessor obviously has a very important job for any community but it is rarely overtly political. Yes, there are often legal dispute regarding tax valuations but I can never remember an assessor jumping into the fray regarding land use issues and in this case, actively questioning the elected city council's decision/goal. This potential purchase involves the Reno Gazette Journal building and property several blocks east of downtown; it's been on the market for a couple of years. It is prime real estate and if this sale is consummated, it will be coming off the tax rolls.

I absolutely agree with his reasoning, there's no reason for a public facility to be located on such a valuable parcel. And I really applaud his "damn the torpedoes" willingness to make his views heard.

Questionable Highest and Best Use!

(RENO, NV) -- Washoe County Assessor Mike Clark is asking the Reno City Council and City Staff to reassess the financial implications of purchasing the Reno Gazette-Journal offices and re-purposing the 7-acre riverside parcel as a new Reno Police Department headquarters

"While we can appreciate the need for a new RPD headquarters, the fiscal impact statement from the staff report is inaccurate," Clark wrote in a letter delivered to the Council on Monday. "It does not take into account the lifetime of lost property tax because of its use as a government facility. An RPD Headquarters may not be the highest and best use for this unique parcel along the Truckee River."

Clark said in the letter that the role of the Washoe County assessor is to be the taxpayers’ representative in the office, tasked with ensuring that they are well-served both in terms of issues related to their assessments and providing the state and local government accurately assessed values on property within the County. It is through property taxes that Washoe County's governments provide services to the people within their jurisdictions

"Not getting a parcel's true value, or worth, puts an unnecessary burden on the rest of the taxpayers," he wrote.

The Staff report says the City has designated $7 million in this year's budget for the purchase of the parcel at 955 Kuenzli Street. Another $5 million is being donated to City for site improvements by the William H. Pennington Foundation. The total cost of purchase, permitting and construction is estimated at $26.4 million, according to the Staff Report.
"The unique riverside location may also require permitting and mitigation that is not indicated  in the project estimates," Clark wrote. "With a motor pool facility next to the region's drinking water supply, there may extraordinary environmental mitigation costs associated with this type of land use," he wrote.

Clark explained in the letter that the uniqueness and scarcity of a developable downtown river site should be taken into consideration in any purchase price or assessment of the property.

"Reno’s emerging presence in the high-tech and manufacturing economy has stimulated positive growth and notability" Clark wrote "Corporate headquarters or office space,  downtown housing, resort or commercial/retail may offer a higher and better use alternative for this parcel."


 

I have seen things like this several times from Assessors.  Ironically enough the last time was when a sheriff who wanted to put his sheriff's office in the best commercial spot on an exit of I-80.

 

Law enforcement are the bane of local officials.  They do nothing but sit on their asses thinking about what they need to buy and how to justify it.   They want assault vehicles, new jails and offices, cars and pickups and guns of course more automatic guns.   Funny though, i have never seen one suggest a body camera.

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They probably  have to gut and renovate  the building to its bones so they'd do just as well with some other infill location nearby. Plenty of those!

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Just curious.  What makes this prime real estate?  Looked at it on Google Earth and the other side of the river is a storage lot for roll off dumpsters, the garbage truck yard and what appears to be a recycling facility.  Its immediate neighbors appear to be a series of nondescript apartments/ motels.

Frankly, looking at the river in general, it doesn't seem to be a valued/ valuable location. Even the facilities geared towards tourism located along its banks architecturally turn their backs to it. It seems an odd way to develop  an area that should be a civic asset.

 

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Good for him, he's performing a service to the electorate with that letter.

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Our county commissioners use their purview over land-use to rail against the immorality of the legal marijuana business, so often these local govt./elected officials wield their positions pretty recklessly.  

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17 hours ago, SDSUfan said:

Just curious.  What makes this prime real estate?  Looked at it on Google Earth and the other side of the river is a storage lot for roll off dumpsters, the garbage truck yard and what appears to be a recycling facility.  Its immediate neighbors appear to be a series of nondescript apartments/ motels.

Frankly, looking at the river in general, it doesn't seem to be a valued/ valuable location. Even the facilities geared towards tourism located along its banks architecturally turn their backs to it. It seems an odd way to develop  an area that should be a civic asset.

 

You're looking at the building that they would move the RPD HQ to which is 955 Kuenzli St

They are talking about the current RPD HQ 455 East Second St. Which is on the River directly across from the Aces Ballpark. So it is sort of a valuable location. City of Reno just approved the advanced talks and in this article it details that the current HQ is 70 years old and it needs renovations.

https://www.rgj.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/24/reno-moves-ahead-deal-buy-rgj-building/1822246001/

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Is his job to express this opinion to the taxpayer?  Or to the city council on how they can make the best decision?

Should a police headquarters or a city hall building be nice?  Or just the cheapest strip-mall type of place in a dingy part of town?

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FYI- the measure to approve purchase of the building was APPROVED by the RCC yesterday.

for $7 M. Old HQ site to be eventually  sold for estimated $4.5 M.

Building will need $33 million more to make it into a Police station.

the RPD Chief is pleased.

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