The Lyon County Commission has decided to place an advisory question on the November ballot asking voters whether brothels should be made illegal in the jurisdiction.
The move comes after a group of Lyon County residents filed a referendum petition in April seeking to end legal prostitution in the rural county. Commissioners voted unanimously to add an advisory question to the ballot after concerns were raised about the referendum.
“This was brought to the Board to address concerns brought up with a proposed referendum to end brothels in Lyon County,” county manager Jeffrey Page wrote in a statement. “The referendum language is confusing to the voter and could potentially require voter approval to change the brothel ordinance.”
Given the addition of the advisory question, proponents of the referendum will not be filing it, Page said.
The advisory question simply gathers input on the matter but is not legally binding for any governing body or lawmaker. The question that will be placed on the ballot is this:
“Shall the Lyon County Board of Commissioners rescind Title 3, Chapter 5, the Lyon County Brothel Ordinance, in order to end brothels and legalized prostitution in Lyon County, Nevada?”
A fiscal note attached to the advisory question states that eliminating brothels in Lyon County would result in the loss of associated license fees, work card permits and room taxes. Liquor licenses and business licenses for the brothels could also be affected. Brothel license fees brought in $425,116 last fiscal year in Lyon County. The county’s total budget this year is $48 million, meaning the brothel licenses fees make up less than 1 percent of it.