a service of the Nevada Policy Research Institute

a service of NPRI

March 30, 2005
Vol 1, No. 6

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Vegas Chamber mobilizes against new tax burden

""Why, with record revenues, should business pay more, but local governments do NOT have to live within their means?" asked the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce in a quick alert to its membership Friday.

The entire announcement -- with contact information for both Senate and Assembly members -- promptly followed the approval that same day, by the joint Senate Taxation and Assembly Growth and Infrastructure Committees, of BDR 32-1383. Now in the form of AB 489, the legislation would create, said the chamber, "a property tax plan that may violate our state constitution," as it "creates a split roll property tax system—placing a higher tax burden on your business."

The Chamber noted that Nevada’s local government employees are among the highest paid in the nation.

To read the Chamber's call to arms, click [here].  

Unions sweat over possible scrutiny

Southern Nevada labor unions may be getting some close-up and personal attention from the U.S. Labor Department. That's the fear of some local union leaders, now that a one-woman Labor Department office has been opened in Las Vegas, reports the Las Vegas Sun.

The Labor Department says its new Las Vegas branch of the Office of Labor-Management Standards was opened in order to conduct more investigations into the financial disclosures and elections of labor unions, as well as answer questions of labor leaders and union members.

Read the entire story 

News Analysis
'Hybrid' bill's chances
weaker than it appears?

By Steven Miller

The so-called ‘hybrid’ property tax solution passed by the Nevada Assembly yesterday may be far from the done-deal that media reports have suggested.

The legislation is highly complex. Finally in bill form, it is now available for downloading.

In the Senate the proposal of Democrat Minority Leader Dina Titus for a one-year freeze is gathering important new momentum, while beneath the surface in the Assembly, anxiety remains over AB 489.

Behind the Senate development is concern over the double-digit tax increases still set to sting Nevada commercial and business property owners under the Assembly proposal. That bill would stick Clark County businesses with property tax increases of over 13 percent, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday.

In addition, the legislation would impose a “split roll” regime of higher taxes on all property owners but homeowners—notwithstanding the Nevada Constitution’s ban on any property tax assessment scheme that is not “uniform and equal.”

Because AB 489’s split-roll provision is a virtual invitation to a legal challenge, GOP senators now see the Titus proposal as good protection for all property owners, should the “hybrid” solution fail in the courts.

Titus has said she could try to freeze all taxes this year—including both residential and commercial properties—and postpone the main provisions of the assembly bill to the year afterward.

Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas, noted that AB-489 has been represented as a compromise between Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley and Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick. But while Assembly leaders “might view the compromise as a long-term fix,” he said, “I don’t think we [in the Senate] do.”

Hardy told the Las Vegas Sun that he and others worry about the burden imposed on businesses under the legislation.

“Some of us are looking for ways to make sure businesses are treated fairly. We certainly don’t like the split roll,” he said. Hardy also pointed out that a freeze would also help “compel local government to tighten their belts a little bit. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.” [more]

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