Questions and answers about creating a new city here (July 4, 2022)
Updated: Jul 6
Got questions? We've got answers. Learn more about the effort and the nuts and bolts here.
Q: Why should we consider creating our own city?
A: What we hear from residents is that the number of local problems is growing faster than the number of solutions. On issues ranging from housing and short term rentals, transportation and parking, land use and zoning, to our policing, courts and constable, it’s become clear that Washoe County and other agencies aren’t focused on serving the needs of our community. Longer term residents also point out that the quality, convenience, and staffing of existing County services have seriously declined over the years.
Q: Why are we being ignored?
A: Our corner of Washoe County is very small, and also geographically and economically different from the rest of a county that extends all the way to Oregon. There are situations where Washoe County is legally required to apply uniform rules that can’t be tailored to our needs. Plus we aren't big enough to get customized attention for unique issues like snow plowing, tourism, or planning. Incline Village residents pay 9.5% of all property tax in Washoe County, but only have 5.1% of all parcels, 2.7% of all registered voters and 2.0% of the total population. And yet our population already makes us larger than a third of Nevada’s 17 counties.
Q: Why is the solution becoming a city?
A: Incline Village’s reliance upon Washoe County’s government to provide services and manage our community’s precious assets puts our fate in the hands of those who don’t live here. As a city we would have local control of things like zoning, land use, development and other public services.
Q: Who would be included in the new city?
A: The new city would include all of Crystal Bay and Incline Village, similar to what is included now in the Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) and the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District (NLTFPD) jurisdictions.
Q: What would the City of Incline Village do?
A: The City of Incline Village would take over responsibilities from Washoe County to deliver various government services to the residents of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. These would include things like snow plowing, policing, the justice court and constable, planning/zoning, building permits and other services. Most of these used to be offered up here by Washoe County but have been moved down the hill or are in the process of being taken away.
Q: How would a new city affect our property taxes?
A: Property taxes are allowed to stay the same (or decrease), but not increase in the year that the City of Incline Village takes over services. Under Nevada law (NRS 354.5987), when a new government takes over an existing service, the tax revenues transfer over from the previous local government so that "the total revenue allowed to all local governments for performance of substantially the same function in substantially the same geographical area must not be increased." In future years, local property taxes could go up or down depending on the level of service the community wants and the costs to efficiently provide those desired service levels.
Q: What would the city be called?
A: The legal name of the city government would be "The City of Incline Village" based on about 97% of people in the Incline Village-Crystal Bay area having an "Incline Village" address.
Q: If I live in Crystal Bay, does that mean I still get to say I live in Crystal Bay?
A: Yes, your mailing address "Crystal Bay" and zip code "89402" won't change since that's all under federal government control. Your local government would be The City of "Incline Village" just as your trash and water services are handled by the "Incline Village" General Improvement District.
Q: What happens next after this announcement?
A: The next step is the filing of a formal petition to hold a vote on incorporating a new city. We are already working on that petition. Once it’s filed, the community will have 90 days to collect valid signatures from one-third of our registered voters in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. We need about 3,000 people, so hopefully you'll be one of them!
Q: What happens after the signatures are collected?
A: Washoe County will review the petition and signatures for validity. After validation, the County and State are required to generate certain reports on financial viability. Then the County will hold one or more public hearings before issuing a formal recommendation on the incorporation proposal. Regardless of their recommendation, the County is then required to schedule an election where the voters of Incline Village and Crystal Bay will decide whether they wish to incorporate a city or not.
Q: What happens if we vote to incorporate?
A: If the community votes to incorporate, then the County schedules a vote for city council members and sets a date for the city to officially incorporate as a city, currently projected for July 1, 2024. THE PROJECT
Q: Who is behind this effort?
A: Many residents in Incline Village and Crystal Bay have been considering better options for local control for years. Now with local problems mounting, many of those residents have come together. The Village League has stepped up to help as a proven and non-partisan source of leadership, just as they did with their 17 year fight for $100 million in property tax refunds. Our hope is to build universal support, so we invite you to get behind the effort too!
Q: Who will be doing the work?
A: So far, a small group of people has been coordinating most of the work, but we have much more to do and we need more people. If you are "inclined" to help in any way, please reach out and let us know.
Q: How can I help?
A: You can sign up for updates. You can follow us in social media. You can help spread the word around town or invite a speaker to a meeting or neighborhood. You can join your friends and neighbors in publicly expressing your support. You can also volunteer to help with the petition effort. In the future, you will also be able to donate money. It will take a village!