Governor researches bill to erase green building tax breaks
Associated Press Writer
Gov. Jim Gibbons said Tuesday he’s asking the attorney general for advice in efforts to determine whether his signing of a bill to erase “green” building tax breaks would leave the state open to costly lawsuits.
The Republican governor, who has said he’s considering a veto of SB567, the tax abatement repeal, also said he’s also having research done to determine who has qualified so far for the breaks approved by legislators in 2005.
The legal analysis by Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is needed because the tax break repeal approved last week by lawmakers amounts to “a rush by the Legislature to correct a rush by the Legislature in a special session in 2005.”
Gibbons said he wants to make sure that SB567 “doesn’t obligate the state to an expensive piece of litigation down the road,” filed by individuals, corporations or contractors who relied upon the tax break law in starting green construction projects.
The research being done on the extent of the tax breaks since 2005 is needed because “the previous administration didn’t keep accurate records,” said Gibbons, who took over in January as former Gov. Kenny Guinn left office.
Several companies have been approved for tax exemptions. One company, MGM Mirage, qualified for up to $80 million under the 2005 law, according to lawmakers.
Gibbons expected to receive SB567 on Tuesday. A decision on a veto would have to be made by no later than Monday.