Burning Man Resists $800,000 Bill For Police

The county government where Burning Man hosts its annual fete wants a big payout for police. Burning Man fights back.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Josh Keppel
    Do these folks need police?

    Burning Man may no longer be held in Pershing County.

    Officials in the Nevada desert county, where Black Rock City has set up every August since 1991, argue that the festival owes them for police services, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

    Burning Man is held on federal land and ergo does not need local police, organizers of the festival argued. However, Pershing County officials say that their police department is the local authority and must be compensated as part of Burning Man's annual permit fees.

    In 2006, Burning Man paid county sheriffs $66,000. That bill went up to $170,000 last year, and may increase to as much as $800,000 next year, the newspaper reported.

    Burning Man also pays the federal government $1.5 million for a permit. If the policing fees increase too much, organizers say the event could be held elsewhere.