Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Someone’s knockin’ at the door
Somebody’s ringin’ the bell
Do me a favor
Open the door and let ’em in

– Paul McCartney

 

There was a time, in recent memory, we yelled at our children for watching too much YouTube.  Then 2021 came along, and like a bad frozen drink, added equal parts 81st Nevada Legislative Session and COVID-19, held the booze for maximum annoyance, and hit frappe.  Voila.  You’re on YouTube, and YOU’RE on YouTube, and YOU’RE on YouTube…and all of us are watching our elected officials cobble together policy like the Brady Bunch.

The good news is our beloved Gang of 63 managed to keep some vestiges of normalcy, e.g., “legislative time,” and while waiting in YouTube purgatory, Jon learned how to do the Thriller dance while sitting at his desk, and also figured out how to build a DIY shed from scratch – those two things will either keep him occupied through summer, or wind him up in the hospital.  Time will tell.

Without lobbyists in the building, the Legislature has been left on their own to debate revenue, budget, and policy decisions in a virtual chatroom, and really, in a vacuum.  Although most legislators have been very good about setting meetings and returning calls, these detached experiences provide a fraction of the accessibility normally enjoyed in a live setting – gone are the elevator speeches, “walk and talks,” and smoke breaks which provided an opportunity to discuss concepts which would ultimately be voted on, and unfortunately, several bills antagonistic to development remain pending given deadlines have been suspended and no bills have died.

Property Tax

SB 10 – this bill is recycled legislation (AB 43 – 2017) which would place a 3% floor on statutory property tax abatements.  Citing a dip in property values in 2017, NACO presented testimony indicating the bill is intended to stabilize revenue streams, which were disrupted by a reduction in property values.  The bill is not intended to raise revenue, so much as secure existing revenue.  NAIOP opposed this legislation in 2017, and opposed it again in 2021 as it fails to address the root cause of these issues; Nevada’s convoluted tax structure.  More, this issue is far from policy-based, as the Legislature’s refusal to address property taxes in any way has caused municipalities to assess fees on virtually all processes related to development, and legislation exists in this session to assess even more fees to support programs administered at the municipal level (see below).

SB 64 – this bill is somewhat similar to SB 10, in that it attempts to place a 3% floor on statutory abatements, however, SB 64 would remove the secondary cap calculation, and also reduce allowable depreciation deduction by half a point.  NAIOP is opposing this bill.

SJR 8 – this Resolution is the second go-around for SJR 14 from the 2017 Legislative Session (reset on sale/depreciation), which died without a hearing in 2019.  Given no discussion has been offered regarding real property tax reform, NAIOP is not currently opposing or supporting SJR 8.

Anti-Development

AB 211 – this bill would require any application for tentative map to be submitted to the Nevada Department of Wildlife for a 30-day evaluation and comment period, prior to the local planning commission hearing the matter, and at a cost of up to $5,000 per application.

AB 331 / 334 – these bills seek to enable a local government to assess a “linkage fee” of up to $5 psf. for new industrial development and $3 psf. for new commercial development, to be dedicated to affordable housing.  AB 334 also enables the municipality to offer “payments in lieu” of a development including inclusionary zoning.

Landlord/Tenant

With the exception of AB 141, no landlord/tenant legislation has been introduced which affects commercial tenancies.  With respect to AB 141, Assemblyman Watts has offered a conceptual amendment to remove references to commercial tenancies, as the bill was intended to be residential only.  NAIOP is neutral on this bill.

In addition to the above mentioned bills, we are currently waiting on language from the Treasurer’s Office that would seed the infrastructure bank for a multitude of projects within the state. They are currently looking at $75 million in bonding from the state and $135 million in federal funds would seed the bank, while expanding the eligible use of infrastructure bank funds. One way they are looking to expand the use of the funds is to social infrastructure which could include affordable housing and broadband connectivity. We will hopefully have bill language in the next couple of weeks and will keep the membership informed once we do.

Lastly, there are rumors that we will be back in the building in the next couple of weeks in a limited capacity. What that means and what it looks like are unknown at this time, but one thing is for sure, less screen time is better not just for our eyes, but for the legislative process.

 

Jon & Kerrie

Jonathan Leleu, Lobbyist/Attorney
jleleu@argentumnv.com

Kerrie Kramer, Lobbyist
kerrie@argentumnv.com

Argentum Partners
(702) 692-8037