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Home > Featured > Court dismisses Eddie Lorton’s request to review Business Improvement District assessments

Court dismisses Eddie Lorton’s request to review Business Improvement District assessments

By Jeri Chadwell
Eddie Lorton holds a campaign sign near the Washoe County Registrar of Voters office on June 10, 2020 during the primary election.

Perennial political candidate George “Eddie” Lorton wanted his downtown property exempted from business improvement district assessments, but the Second Judicial Court on Monday denied his request.

In May of 2019, Lorton filed a petition for a judicial review of the City of Reno’s handling of assessments charged to property owners within the Downtown Reno Business Improvement District (BID). After nearly two years—and three judges—the court has denied his request.

Lorton owns the property where the Bluebird Nightclub is located on East Fourth Street. He objected to the formation of the BID in 2018 and did not want his business to be included in it.

However, the BID received enough support from other property owners to move forward. Its purpose is to provide for beautification and cleaning projects as well as the Reno Ambassadors who patrol in the area providing information and services to visitors to downtown and the unsheltered population residing there.

Lorton also objected in 2019 when the budget for the BID for fiscal year 2019-2020 was increased from $2.2 million to $2.7 million, contending that his property has seen no benefit from the BID.

However, when Lorton filed his petition for a judicial review, he did so objecting to “(1) the methodology that was used to estimate the special benefit to be derived from the BID generally, and (2) the amount of the benefit accruing to his parcel specifically” and asking the court to “order his parcel be expressly excluded from the future assessments and that the BID be set aside as invalid.”

Had he filed this request when the BID was initially formed, the court might have entertained it, but Nevada law sets limits on how long a person can file such a request after the formation of an improvement district.

The City of Reno argued that at this stage the only things to which Lorton could object and appeal to the court are the correctness of assessments on his property or the amount he’d been assessed. The court agreed and issued an order denying Lorton’s request.

According to his website, Lorton will again be running for office in Reno in 2022. He said after his second failed mayoral bid in 2018 that it would be his final run for office.

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