Many misconceptions have been assumed over the past few months as the proposed charter for the City of Mesquite has made its way to Carson City. As Senate Bill 56 makes its way through the Nevada Assembly, Lobbyist Warren Hardy still believes the bill will reach the governor’s desk in the first two weeks of April.
SB 56 passed the initial start of the Nevada Assembly on March 2 when Assemblyman Edgar Flores (D) Las Vegas moved the bill be sent to the Assembly’s Committee on Government Affairs. As of this week, the hearing for the bill before the committee had not been scheduled. “We’ve asked for some advance time for the hearing to prepare,” said Hardy, since the bill will be going through the same process as before. It is expected that Hardy will be joined by Mayor Al Litman and City Attorney Bob Sweetin in Carson City to testify when that hearing is scheduled. “It’s the same process, but this one may take a bit longer because there are more members in the committee,” said City Liaison Aaron Baker.
Several concerned citizens have contacted Baker about the ability for the city to create new or raise current taxes. “Nothing is changing by going to a Charter City,” he said. “We are just mirroring our current operations by going to a Charter City status. We’re just using a different enabling legislation. Instead of using NRS 266, we’ll be using the charter.”
The bottom line to the new charter is that Mesquite will be able to customize ordinances to best fit their needs without affecting other cities in Nevada that are under NRS 266. “The council could have and still can change tax rates,” said Baker. “But it always has and always will have to go through a public process. None of that changes.”