Posts Tagged ‘Assemblywoman Debbie Smith’

Gov. Sandoval Says He Has Complied With Budget Disclosure Requirements

By Sean Whaley | 1:11 pm October 26th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval said today his administration has fully complied with a requirement in state law to provide preliminary state budget data to lawmakers and their staff.

“The agency requests have been presented to the Legislature in accordance with the law,” he said. “I don’t see any problems.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Lawmakers on Thursday questioned state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp on why some components of the initial agency request budget, known as “items for special consideration,” were not supplied to their fiscal staff as has been past practice. The items are funding requests beyond the agency base-budget requests for the 2013-15 spending plan. Expanding Medicaid to a new population of eligible Nevadans as allowed for under the Affordable Care Act is one such request.

Mohlenkamp said his office does not believe the special consideration items are part of the budget information required to be provided under Nevada Revised Statutes 353.211.

Sandoval said today the issue should not be characterized as one involving the transparency of his office.

“We are still gathering information on the Medicaid question,” he said. “We have not gotten all the instructions that we need from the federal government in order to completely prepare that. So anything that would be presented would not be complete at this time.”

Sandoval said his recommended budget will be made public in a “matter of weeks” and that release should satisfy lawmakers.

The budget is typically presented following the governor’s State of the State address in mid-January.

Sandoval said today it is unfair for anyone to suggest his administration failed to follow state law in the release of the budget data without providing any specifics about the alleged violation.

“There is no violation of law,” he said. “We’re perfectly consistent and in accordance with Nevada state law.”

Lawmakers expressed their concerns at a meeting of the Interim Finance Committee.

Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said the additional budget information has been provided to legislative staff historically as specified in state law. It has also been made available to the public after being transmitted  to fiscal staff electronically by the state budget office on Oct. 15.

“The part that is of concern to us there is twofold,” Combs told the committee. “Your staff doesn’t have access to the information. The other concern is that information that is provided to us on Oct. 15 is supposed to be open for public dissemination at that point.”

Legislative Counsel Brenda Erdoes said Nevada statues, both 353.205 and 353.211, require the information to be provided to legislative fiscal staff. NRS 353.211 says in part that the information to be provided must include: “Each agency’s requested budget for the next 2 fiscal years.”

Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said at the meeting it is an ongoing issue that needs to be resolved.


Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says his administration has complied with state law:

102612Sandoval2 :05 see any problems.”

Sandoval says the Medicaid expansion issue is still not finalized:

102612Sandoval :13 at this time.”


Report Evaluates Success Of Incentives In Western States, Finds Fewer In Nevada Due To Tax Structure

By Sean Whaley | 10:55 am August 1st, 2012

CARSON CITY – A new report from The Council of State Governments exploring the successes that 13 Western states have had with tax incentives to encourage economic growth found that Nevada has fewer such programs in large part because of its tax structure.

Nevada does not have a personal income tax, unitary tax, corporate income tax, inventory tax, estate and/or gift tax, franchise tax, inheritance tax or special intangible tax, notes the report “Trends in Western State Business Incentives” released today by the CSG.

The report found that Nevada does offer some incentives, including sales tax abatements on capital equipment purchases, a sales and use tax deferral on capital equipment purchases, abatements on personal and modified business taxes and real property tax abatements for recycling.

In addition, the Nevada Train Employees Now Program provides short-term, skills-based intensive job training to assist new and expanding firms to reach their productivity goals quickly.

“While state leaders may not agree on what strategy is best when it comes to reviving our economies, learning how our neighbors are innovating and pushing through tough fiscal times can help guide us as we move forward,” said Nevada Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, chairwoman of CSG West Fiscal Affairs Committee.

Nevada Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks.

“This report adds to our knowledge base and gives policymakers another tool as they look for better, more efficient ways to bring jobs back into our communities and get our states back on track,” she said in a press release announcing the release of the document.

While Nevada’s incentives may be more limited than those in other Western states, they are playing a major role in the state’s successful effort to bring Apple to Reno to build a new data center and related facilities that are expected to bring $1 billion in investment over the next decade. Part of the deal includes $89 million in sales tax and personal property tax abatements.

The tax breaks will be discussed today by the state Board of Economic Development, which includes Gov. Brian Sandoval, a strong advocate of the deal that is bringing Apple to Nevada.

(The board signed off on the tax breaks following a two-hour discussion.)

The CSG report also noted the work by Sandoval and the 2011 Legislature that completely reorganized the state’s economic development efforts. The new Governor’s Office of Economic Development has taken over the tasks of job development and diversification.

Diversification and job creation are top priorities for Sandoval, who has set a goal of creating 50,000 new jobs in Nevada by the end of 2014.

The report also mentions Assembly Bill 202 from 2011, which provides for a partial abatement of some property taxes for eligible new manufacturing businesses, including those that renovate an existing building or other structure.

But Nevada has come in for some criticism for failing to evaluate the effectiveness of its tax incentives. A study by the Pew Center on the States released in April identified Nevada as one of 16 states that did not publish a document between 2007 and 2011 that performed such an evaluation.

Jennifer Burnett, CSG’s program manager for research services and special projects, said in a news release on today’s findings that there are definite trends in the kinds of economic incentives Western states are using.

“Although each state approaches development differently, every state relies on incentives in varying degrees as a component of their overall strategy,” she said. “For example, every Western state offers a tax exemption on raw materials used in manufacturing, while almost all states offer exemptions on goods in transit, manufacturers’ inventories and raw materials.”

Burnett also said state leaders are looking more closely at how incentives are used and more closely scrutinizing the payoff, which could mean big changes in the future of state economic development strategies.

“States have cut basic, essential programs – like education and infrastructure – to the bone and leaders don’t want to make even deeper cuts,” she said. “That means everything is on the table for discussion, including incentives and whether they are getting the return on investment they should be.”