Pershing County vs. Burning Man on Festival Fee

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Pershing County officials are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Burning Man organizers who say a new county festival ordinance is unconstitutional and could put the counter-culture event out of business.

Critics say the new $1.50-per-head fee to cover law enforcement costs at events with more than 1,000 people would force Burning Man to pay the county $600,000 - up from $175,000 in 2010.

They argue the county has no jurisdiction over the event held on federal land in the Black Rock Desert 110 miles north of Reno.

But Pershing County said in the motion for dismissal on Tuesday that the U.S. contract mandates that events comply with state laws. It says the costs are consistent with what other counties charge for a comparable number of officers.