Carson City consolidated taxes reach all-time high, mayor says in State of the City address

Rob Joiner, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, presented Mayor Lori Bagwell with a bouquet and his gratitude.

Rob Joiner, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, presented Mayor Lori Bagwell with a bouquet and his gratitude.

Continuing a tradition that began with the late Mayor Bob Crowell, Mayor Lori Bagwell gave her first State of the City address on Thursday. The Chamber of Commerce hosted the presentation and luncheon.

“When I campaigned, I indicated that customer service was an important requirement. I hope after my speech today that you agree your city has met this challenge big time,” she said.

Financially, the city came out of 2021 with money in the till. Bagwell and the Board of Supervisors reserved a 10 percent rainy day account and are pushing to raise it to 16 percent in coming years, Bagwell said.
Consolidated taxes reached an all-time high of $41.3 million.

“(Wednesday), I heard Nancy (Paulson) tell me she was responsible for that because she has been shopping on Amazon,” Bagwell joked.

A significant portion of the city’s consolidated taxes come from auto sales, but notably Internet sales rose 48 percent, as city manager Nancy Paulson reported during State of the Counties Wednesday.

Federal funding also poured in, $10.2 million from the CARES Act and $20.7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The former has helped pay for pandemic-related resources. In 2021, the city delivered more than 200,000 masks, 3.5 million gloves, and nearly 2,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to businesses. Carson City Health and Human Services administered more than 35,000 vaccines.

ARPA money is supporting infrastructure, broadband, outdoor spaces, and local nonprofits in Carson City.

Among other flashy 2021 accomplishments that residents have noticed around town: the fire station purchased a new truck with more maneuverability and a taller ladder. Parks and Recreation helped reseed the burn scar from last summer’s Prison Hill fire. And Public Works completed South Carson Street improvements.

Infrastructure will be a big theme for the Public Works department in 2022 and 2023. Bagwell said that the city is anticipating project starts for East William Street improvements, a new fire station and dispatch center, Quill Water Treatment Plant upgrades, Safe Routes to School improvements, and an ADA-accessible playground at Blackwell Pond.

The Community Development Department issued $101.6 million in building permits, and the city saw 204 new housing starts. Bagwell said that the department is anticipating 783 units of new housing in 2022.

Hand in hand with new building projects, the Board of Supervisors has an ongoing Master Plan review in the works, slated to be complete by 2025. The Master Plan outlines the city’s zoning policy, which ultimately determines where new developments are allowed to build, and what aesthetic and functional guidelines buildings must follow.

“It’s important to review the plan to ensure that it continues to meet the community’s vision and goals for the future,” Bagwell said.

That vision will play a huge role as the supervisors concurrently begin a review of the Carson City Charter this year. The charter is the legal document that combined Carson City and Ormsby County into one consolidated municipality in 1969.

“I want to take a moment to go on record to say how lucky we are in Carson City to have such a wonderful team of elected officials,” Bagwell said. “We work so well together for the benefit of our community.”

After her presentation, Rob Joiner, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, presented Bagwell with a bouquet and his gratitude. He playfully dropped to one knee to hand her the flowers.

“You’re so generous with your thoughts and time,” he said. “It just makes us all appreciate the fact that with your leadership and the managers in this room, you make the community of Carson proud.”


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