Bill would allow Washoe Co. to impose impact fees on Tesla, Panasonic

Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez Thompson, D-Reno, has introduced legislation that will allow counties to impose impact fees on local governments in other counties.

Although Thompson couldn’t be reached for comment Friday, Assembly Bill 90 is aimed pretty clearly at offsetting the financial impacts the huge businesses at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center have had on Reno, Sparks and Washoe County.

Businesses like Tesla and Panasonic have had a major impact on housing, transportation and other governmental services beyond the borders of Storey County where TRIC is located, bringing several thousand workers to western Nevada and driving housing and rental prices to unprecedented highs.

Existing law allows certain local governments to impose impact fees on new development to finance improvements and expansions made necessary by those developments.

AB90 expands that concept to impose fees on projects of “intercounty significance.” In short, it would allow filing for compensation from developments outside the county that would be impacted by the project.

AB90 first requires a county to seek financial impact statements from local governments that would be affected before taking any final action on the development, construction or expansion of a project and the costs that the affected government is likely to incur if the project is approved.

The bill includes impacts to a wide variety of potential costs from housing and transportation infrastructure, education facilities, water and sewer services, flood control, public safety, health, criminal justice and social services.

It also lays out a process for contesting the impact statements by the local governments that would have to pay them.

Critically for Washoe County and the Reno area, the bill would allow a county to seek compensation for one project of “intercounty significance” that is already developed, constructed or in operation on July 1 of this year.

If that language stands, it would allow Washoe County to file for compensation from TRIC and Tesla.

AB90 was referred to the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs for review.


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