ARE YOU ONE OF US?
September 11, 2019
By one of us, I mean are you a member of the Lincoln County Power District No. 1? That may seem like a strange question. You may have been a customer of the Power District for many years and think that makes you a member. But in reality many of our customers are actually not members. The reason is because of the unique history of the Power District. The driving force that created the Power District in 1937 were the mines and mills in an around Pioche. Consequently, the Power District boundary originally only encompassed the areas around Pioche, Caselton and parts of Dry Valley. In contrast, the service area of the Power District has been defined to include all of Lincoln County and part of Clark County. The difference is that Power District can provide retail and wholesale electric service to all of its customers in its designated service area, but only those customers who are in the boundary of the Power District are actually members.
Over the years, the boundary of the Power District has changed, as individual property owners have requested to become part of the Power District. Individuals parcels in Panaca, Meadow Valley, Eagle Valley, Rachel and Mt. Wilson areas, as well as Coyote Springs are now also included in the Power District boundary.
As you read this you may be thinking customers get electric service, members get electric service, they each pay the same rates for electric service, and so what’s the difference? The difference is local democracy. Members of the Power District get to vote for the Board of Trustees and get to serve as members of the Board of Trustees. The Power District is a not-for-profit, community based electric utility. It is organized under Chapter 318 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. The Board of Trustees sets high level policy, provides a fiduciary responsibility and directs the general manager of the Power District.
Participation in the democratic process is important. Anyone, be they member or customer, can come to meetings of the Board of Trustees and offer their comments and suggestions. But to be able to vote and run for an office is what defines true democracy. In my opinion, every retail customer of the Power District should be a member of the Power District. To become one only requires the owner of a parcel of land to submit a petition to the Board of Trustees to have their property included. The petition can be found under the Forms section of our website, or you can just call the office and we will mail you one.
Over the years I have heard some customers say they don’t want to be members because it could expose their property to a tax liability. In a theoretical sense, the law does allow certain types of general improvement districts to assess a tax. But in reality, including your property in the boundary of the Power District will not result in a tax liability because of how taxing authority is delegated to government entities other than the Power District and because the Power District gets its income from electric energy sales and not taxes. In 83 years of existence the Power District has never taxed, and it never will.
We have put together a Frequently Asked Question sheet about becoming a member of the Power District and answering in detail the question about taxes. CLICK HERE FOR THE FAQS.