Government Affairs Report – January 2018

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week, you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

– Mark Twain

Happy Holidays! Kerrie and I would like to thank NAIOP Southern Nevada, its Board of Directors, the Government Affairs Committee and all members for a wonderful 2017. Before turning the page on our first year representing the organization which represents Nevada’s second largest industry, we’d like to take the opportunity to look back on a very active and successful year.

2017 by any measure is a NAIOP success story. In February, Kerrie and I made our biennial trek to Carson City for the 2017 Nevada Legislative Session and began work on re-orienting NAIOP’s legislative posture from what had been traditionally defensive to collaborative; a position NAIOP must maintain as the voice of an industry. To that end, we amended or defeated 5 bills which would have opened the door to application of prevailing wage to privately-funded commercial developments. In addition, we defeated legislation intended to create a public registry and licensing requirement for vacant commercial properties. We significantly amended a bill which required all newly-constructed commercial buildings to have baby-changing stations in every restroom, by reducing the number of required stations to 1 equally-accessible station per building and creating an “opt-out” for buildings with no restrooms available to the public. Together with the RTC, we advanced Nevada’s access to federal infrastructure appropriations by advocating in favor of legislation creating transportation and utility infrastructure banks. Finally, we positioned NAIOP as the recognized thought-leader on real property tax reform measures by offering substantial testimony regarding the impact of real property tax abatements (caps) on the commercial real estate industry and options for revision, defeating legislation offering only partial solutions to restructuring Nevada’s property tax code, and advocating in favor of a resolution seeking open debate on solutions currently interpreted to be in violation of the Nevada Constitution.

Of tremendous importance to galvanizing NAIOP’s role as a leader in the business community, we developed pro-business coalitions with other influential business associations to fully vet the impact of business-related legislation and develop unified positions strengthened by large constituencies. Together these coalitions were instrumental in defeating legislation such as the “plastic bag tax” and proposed minimum wage hikes.

Away from Carson City, NAIOP experienced unprecedented success locally. Drawing upon our existing relationships with staff and local elected officials, we moved NAIOP into its rightful place as an industry leader and resource for its members as well as local municipalities. Together with Clark County staff, our Government Affairs Committee worked to amend the County’s parking ordinance and NAIOP’s President, Jay Heller, publicly supported adoption of the agreed-upon language. Similarly, we are in the final stages of negotiation with the City of Henderson on revisions to its parking ordinance. In addition, we continue to work with local municipalities on issues relating to federal lands and infrastructure. Over the last year, NAIOP has become such a presence locally that it was called out as a primary stakeholder to contribute its vast institutional knowledge of commercial real estate to Clark County’s submittal for the Amazon Headquarters project.

Turning toward 2018, we see NAIOP increasing its profile and influence throughout Nevada. Among the many projects the Government Affairs Committee will be undertaking is expediting the approval process in both planning and permitting. In addition, we will continue to monitor issues related to text amendments to local zoning codes, planning, permitting, and licensing fees, and fire codes. At the state level, we will continue leading the charge with respect to real property tax reform, and for the first time, NAIOP will be advancing its own legislation, including a bill seeking to clarify the Nevada Commerce Tax with respect to CAM charges. We will also be working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development on increasing NAIOP’s role in facilitating the state’s economic development plan, and the RTC on transportation enhancements. At the federal level, we will be working with Nevada’s congressional delegation on infrastructure appropriations, and increasing the availability of develop-able property by addressing some of the federal disposal boundaries. With respect to the upcoming 2018 election cycle, we will be working with the Government Affairs Committee on vetting and supporting candidates for office who have an understanding of issues which may impact commercial real estate.

Kerrie and I are so proud to represent NAIOP and working with your organization has exceeded all of our expectations. Looking back at 2017, it is hard to believe we accomplished so much in just one year. Although it was not easy, the road we paved this year has opened doors and allowed NAIOP to advance its agenda like never before. We are so excited for 2018 and we look forward to a wonderful new year!

All the best,

Jon & Kerrie


Jonathan P. Leleu, Shareholder
Kerrie Kramer, Assistant Director

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
3773 Howard Hughes Parkway | #400 North | Las Vegas, Nevada 89169
Tel 702.599.8070 | Fax 702.925.2316 |