Assembly sends ‘green’ tax break bill to Gibbons | NevadaAppeal.com

Assembly sends ‘green’ tax break bill to Gibbons

AMANDA FEHD
Associated Press Writer

The Nevada Assembly gave final legislative approval Sunday to a bill that lowers “green” tax breaks to ease projected revenue losses for state and local governments – but still helps some companies that got early approval for the breaks.

As AB621 moved to Gov. Jim Gibbons for his signature, Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, said the state isn’t eliminating the tax incentives for environmentally friendly projects.

“This Legislature is making a policy decision to adjust the tax abatements and exemptions to protect the important fiscal needs of this state but without entirely eliminating the important tax incentives we enacted to promote the efficient use of energy,” Kirkpatrick said.

Lawmakers learned in May that a 2005 law could end up costing government and schools $1 billion for about a dozen companies that had chosen to build large developments according to green building requirements.

AB621 preserves substantial tax breaks, between 25 to 35 percent in property taxes for up to 10 years, but requires that developers meet higher standards for energy efficiency. The breaks also do not apply to money owed to school districts. The bill also gets rid of sales tax exemptions on construction materials provided by the 2005 law.

Several companies will get the original tax reductions and the sales tax exemptions. Those companies must have planned construction projects by December 2005, and received approvals from state authorities before February 2007.

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Both exempt and nonexempt companies will take a hit compared to what they were promised under the 2005 law, which offered tax breaks of up to 50 percent.

One company that will qualify for the more generous tax break is MGM Mirage, which has said it plans to use green building methods on seven projects in its $7 billion Las Vegas City Center project. That company alone could get a $240 million tax break.

Other companies that would benefit include Boyd Gaming Corp., Molasky Companies, and Patagonia in Reno.

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