Secretary of state questions state contractor qualifications |

Secretary of state questions state contractor qualifications

Businesses contracting with the state will have to prove they are licensed and in good standing to keep those contracts after questions raised at the Board of Examiners on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Ross Miller told fellow board members Gov. Jim Gibbons and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto his office couldn’t confirm proper state registration and licensing for more than a dozen of the 63 contracts on the agenda.

“Either you’re filed with us in good standing or you shouldn’t be doing business in this state,” Miller said. “Any number of them are not in good standing.”

Miller said he would support approval of the contracts on condition that the businesses in question provide proof they are registered in Nevada with a valid business license.

Companies doing business in Nevada must pay $400 in fees the first year and an annual $125 fee and $200 business license thereafter.

“This should result in substantial filing fees to the state,” he said.

Miller said the problem with the licensing came to light recently after the Legislature moved responsibility for collecting business license fees from Taxation to his office, consolidating the business licensing and corporate registration process in one place.

In addition, the board approved exemptions for three school districts and two charter schools, freeing them from the requirement they spend at least $50 per student on books, instructional supplies and computer equipment each year.

That flexibility was granted during the recent special session of the Legislature to districts facing economic hardship because of the recession and budget cuts.

For Clark County School District, the exemption frees up $87.8 million over the remaining 16 months of the biennium. Also on the list is Nye County School District for $600,000 and Pershing County schools for $100,000.

Innovations International and Silver Sands Montessori charter schools were exempted for $34,824 and $14,000, respectively.

No other districts have applied for the exemption yet but several are expected to do so.