Posts Tagged ‘2009 Legislature’

State Board Settles Tax Dispute With Washoe County For $7.25 Million

By Sean Whaley | 5:16 pm September 11th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The state Board of Examiners today voted to settle a legal dispute with Washoe County over local tax revenue taken by the 2009 Legislature to balance the state budget.

The settlement provides an immediate payment of $1.25 million to the county, with another $6 million being allocated later for major road maintenance projects. As part of the agreement, the road projects will be moved up in the state’s funding priorities.

The original legal claim submitted in 2011 was for $21.4 million, but the county later revised its demand downward to about $17.9 million.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, a member of the board, called it a good deal for the state since the projects to be paid for with state highway funds have already been approved for funding by the state Transportation Department. The agreement also makes it clear there is no admission by either side that there is fault or a legal liability for the settlement, he said.

The cash portion of the settlement equates to about seven cents on the dollar, Sandoval noted.

If the highway piece of the settlement is included, the deal provides about 40 percent of what the county had sought in its revised request, said state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp.

“It’s a good settlement and I think it’s important to recognize, as I said, that there was no admission of liability by either party,” Sandoval said after the meeting. “I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to be having litigation or disputes between governmental entities.”

Washoe County submitted the claim last year, citing a Nevada Supreme Court ruling in May 2011 that said the Nevada Legislature improperly took $62 million in 2010 from the Clark County Clean Water Coalition fund to balance the state budget. The county said the ruling applied to actions taken by lawmakers in 2009 as well.

Clark County has also submitted a claim based on the same legal decision, and is seeking $102.5 million in local taxes also taken by the 2009 Legislature. But the county in June opted to sue rather than continue with negotiations.

Even so, Sandoval said today that negotiations continue with the county to resolve the dispute, which occurred prior to his term as governor.

But the state has just recently received a new claim, from the city of Reno, based on the same Supreme Court ruling.

Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger appeared before the board to briefly discuss the claim filed for $2 million. The settlement with Washoe County approved today did not provide any direct benefit to the city, he said.

Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger.

Sandoval said the claim will be reviewed by the Attorney General’s Office as has been done with the other requests.

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Audio clips:

Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger says the city has also submitted a claim:

091112Clinger :24 aware of that.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval says the settlement is a good deal for the state:

091112Sandoval :28 between governmental entities.”

State Board To Consider Settling Tax Dispute With Washoe County For $7.25 Million

By Sean Whaley | 12:08 pm September 6th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The state Board of Examiners on Tuesday will consider settling a dispute with Washoe County over $21.5 million in local property tax revenue taken by the 2009 Legislature to balance the state budget.

The proposed settlement would provide an immediate payment of $1.25 million to the county, with another $6 million being allocated later for major road maintenance projects.

Gov. Brian Sandoval. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Washoe County submitted the claim to the Board of Examiners in September 2011, citing a Nevada Supreme Court ruling in May 2011 that said the Nevada Legislature improperly took $62 million in 2010 from the Clark County Clean Water Coalition fund to balance the state budget. That ruling forced Gov. Brian Sandoval to reconfigure his proposed 2001-13 state budget by extending a set of taxes that had been scheduled to expire on June 30, 2011.

The county argued the court ruling applied to the funds taken by lawmakers in 2009 as well.

Clark County also submitted a claim, seeking $102.5 million in property taxes also taken by the 2009 Legislature. But the county in June opted to sue rather than continue settlement negotiations with state officials.

Sandoval said in June he was disappointed at the decision of the Clark County Commission to take the matter to court and he questioned whether the amount of the claim was accurate.

“We’ve been trying to work with Clark County, again, for months,” he said in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program. “And I was extremely disappointed that they weren’t willing to come to the table to try and resolve this. And those chose to litigate rather than try to work it out.”

The Legislature in 2009 required the state’s two largest counties, Clark and Washoe, to give up 9 cents per $100 in assessed valuation collected in property taxes to the state. The actions by lawmakers in 2009 occurred before Sandoval became governor.

The Board of Examiners is composed of Sandoval, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Secretary of State Ross Miller. The agenda for the meeting indicates that both the state and Washoe County want to settle the matter.

Sandoval ‘Extremely Disappointed’ Clark County Suing To Recover Funds Taken By Lawmakers In 2009

By Sean Whaley | 1:34 pm June 29th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval says he is disappointed that Clark County has decided to sue to recover $102.5 million in property taxes taken by the 2009 Legislature to balance Nevada’s budget, but said the “state is on very solid ground in this case.”

“We’ve been trying to work with Clark County, again, for months,” he said in a Thursday interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program. “And I was extremely disappointed that they weren’t willing to come to the table to try and resolve this. And those chose to litigate rather than try to work it out.”

Author=User:Avjoska via Wikimedia Commons.

The county submitted a claim for the money to the state Board of Examiners in September 2011 following a Nevada Supreme Court ruling in May 2011 that said the Nevada Legislature improperly took $62 million in 2010 from the Clean Water Coalition fund to balance the state budget. Washoe County submitted a claim for $21.5 million to the state citing the same case.

Negotiations had been under way between the state and Clark County for several months before the lawsuit was filed. Washoe County has not sued to recover the taxes.

“As I say, at the end of the day, I think it would be more prudent, and more reasonable, for the Clark County Commission to work and try to resolve this short of litigation,” Sandoval said. “It doesn’t do any good for the state and counties to be in court.”

Sandoval said he does not believe Clark’s claim, “is anywhere near” $100 million.

“If we have to, we’ll play this out in court and see what the outcome is,” he said.

The Supreme Court Clean Water ruling led to an agreement by Sandoval and a majority of state lawmakers to extend a set of taxes that were set to expire on June 30, 2011, into the current budget to balance the spending plan. The tax extension replaced local revenues Sandoval had originally proposed to use to balance the state budget.

Based on the Clean Water ruling, the two counties decided to seek the return of money used by the 2009 Legislature as well. The Legislature in 2009 required the state’s two largest counties, Clark and Washoe, to give up 9 cents per $100 in assessed valuation collected in property taxes to the state. The actions by lawmakers in 2009 occurred before Sandoval became governor.

“I am disappointed that after months of negotiating, we have not been able to reach an agreement,” Clark County Manager Don Burnette told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a report published June 14.

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Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says he is extremely disappointed that Clark County decided to sue over the refund request:

062912Sandoval1 :10 and resolve this.”

Sandoval says the dispute should be resolved through negotiation:

062912Sandoval2 :12 be in court.”