Posts Tagged ‘property taxes’

Board Recommends $100 Million Capital Construction Plan, Now State Has To Find Funding

By Sean Whaley | 11:27 am September 18th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A state panel today recommended a $100 million capital construction plan to Gov. Brian Sandoval for the next two years, but finding funding for the many desperately needed maintenance projects is still a work in progress.

Sandoval will review the list and potentially make some revisions before submitting it to the 2013 Legislature as part of his overall budget.

Of the total construction budget, about $80 million will require some form of state funding.

The state Public Works Board approved the list of 83 projects, most of which are maintenance and health and safety related, from asbestos removal at the Henderson Armory to boiler improvements at Lake’s Crossing Center for the Mentally Disordered Offender in Sparks.

But Jeff Mohlenkamp, state budget director and member of the board, said he is still researching funding alternatives to pay for the projects. Property tax revenue that has typically been used to pay for such projects in the past is not expected to generate enough funding because of Nevada’s economic difficulties.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Mohlenkamp said he is still reviewing possible alternative funding options.

“We’re hoping to be able to come up with close to the amount being requested, but that’s not a done deal yet,” he said.

“I’m not sure that we’ll be able to come up with the full $80 million at this point,” Mohlenkamp said. “That’s something that I will be researching and going forward working with the governor’s office on. But certainly we’re going to try. The vast majority of these projects are really critical infrastructure projects and we’re going to try to fund as many as possible,”

The capital construction program for the current budget totals only $53 million, with $27 million in bonding from property taxes.

In past sessions when the economy was strong, the Legislature would appropriate tens of millions of dollars for new buildings, from prisons to museums, relying on property tax revenue growth to sell bonds to pay for them

But the ongoing recession in Nevada has eliminated the revenue as a significant funding source for at least the near term.

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Audio clip:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says he is still working on alternatives to funding the much-needed state construction projects:

091812Mohlenkamp :17 many as possible.”

 

State Officials Looking For New Sources Of Funding For Construction Projects As Property Tax Revenues Falter

By Sean Whaley | 11:49 am August 29th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A state panel was told today that for yet another two-year state budget, there will be virtually no money available from property tax revenues for capital construction projects.

The state Public Works Board heard the disappointing news today as it began a two-day review of projects being sought by state agencies ranging from the Department of Corrections to Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

Public Works Board Manager Gus Nuñez said state agencies have submitted 201 projects worth $528 million for consideration for the upcoming budget. The state funding portion totals $460 million.

The Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas, one of the last major state construction projects.

The capital construction program for the current budget totals only $53 million, with $27 million in bonding from property taxes.

Jeff Mohlenkamp, state budget director and member of the board, said the state’s small share of property taxes has traditionally been used to finance bonds to pay for construction projects. But there is virtually no revenue in the current budget to fund projects, and the same is expected as the budget is prepared for the 2013-15 biennium.

“Once again we feel that there is going to be very little if any capacity for bonding within property taxes,” he said. “Right now I’m currently in discussions with the Treasurer’s Office and believe that that is not going to be a source of additional bonding capacity for us to look at.”

Mohlenkamp said there are some other limited sources of funding, including unspent money from previously approved projects, highway funds and federal funds, which can contribute to the state capital construction program.

But property taxes have historically been the main funding source for projects.

Mohlenkamp said he is looking at an alternative source of funding but is not yet prepared to offer any details about what it would be.

“I’m currently working with the Treasurer’s Office and working internally with the governor’s office to try and identify a separate funding source to maybe generate some additional bonding capacity,” he said. “I’m not in a position to be able to disclose exactly what that is yet or how much money we can get. I do believe it is going to be far short of the requested demand. And when I say far short I mean far short.

“However I also realize in having discussions with Gus that there are some critical needs the state has to address,” Mohlenkamp said.

In past sessions when the economy was strong, the Legislature would appropriate tens of millions of dollars for new buildings, from prisons to museums, relying on the property tax revenue growth.

But the ongoing recession in Nevada has eliminated the revenue as a funding source for at least the near term.

The first presentation heard by the board came from Peter Barton, administrator of the Division of Museums and History. The agency’s requested projects include new air conditioning to replace antiquated units at the Lost City Museum in the Moapa Valley and a new freight elevator at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City. The elevator has failed and is now out of service, he said.

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Audio clips:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says property taxes won’t be available for construction projects in the upcoming budget:

082912Mohlenkamp1 :22 to look at.”

Mohlenkamp says he is looking at alternative revenue sources to fund critical projects:

082912Mohlenkamp2 :32 has to address.”

 

Gov. Sandoval Says He Will Seek Property Tax Support For Higher Education System

By Sean Whaley | 11:23 am January 8th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Local governments would lose some property tax revenue to help fund higher education, and college students could face higher fees, in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget to be unveiled Jan 24.

Sandoval, in an interview on Jon Ralston’s Face to Face television program, said both elements are in consideration as his $5.3 billion general fund spending plan is finalized in advance of the 2011 legislative session.

Sandoval said he is considering taking nine cents of the property tax to help fund the state’s community college system.

Sandoval faces a major funding gap between existing spending on state programs and education and available revenue. There have been indications for several weeks that closing that gap will rely in part on shifting some of the cost of running some programs to local governments.

Diverting property taxes to higher education would involve such a shift, since the revenues now are used exclusively to pay for local government and public education. The Nevada System of Higher Education is now funded primarily through the state general fund.

Sandoval said he will not raise taxes or fees to balance the budget.

“We’re only going to spend the money we have,” he said.

Sandoval rejected any suggestion that such moves are “hidden” tax increases, noting that different programs are paid for from different pots of tax money. The question is which pot of money is the best choice to provide the various services, he said.

“The people of this state are paying approximately $20 billion and it’s all going into different buckets, and some buckets are better than others,” he said. “And we’re moving the money where it is most appropriate. There is no doubt about it that the university system is an economic engine in this state and that they provide a great benefit, UNLV and UNR, for the local communities. So we feel that it is appropriate for that property tax to go to the universities.”

Sandoval said any decision to raise student fees will be up to the Board of Regents.

Sandoval also confirmed he is looking at efficiencies in state government to save money where possible.

He also confirmed there will be salary reductions, but said massive layoffs of state employees will not be part of his spending plan.