Taxation Department Gets Money to Collect Taxes

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Nevada lawmakers have approved $5 million in spending by the state Department of Taxation for the next two years to cover costs for the collection of new tax revenues approved in July.

Charles Chinnock, executive director of the Department of Taxation, told the Interim Finance Committee on Tuesday that the agency is making progress on the $836 million tax package and is already collecting higher alcohol and cigarette taxes. The big part of the tax package, a levy on employer payrolls, takes effect Oct. 1.

The $5 million in funding is part of $27.5 million set aside by lawmakers for the agency to collect the new revenues and modernize its tax collection system.

Much of the money approved Tuesday by the IFC will be spent hiring 55 people to handle the workload required by the new payroll tax.

In other action, the committee:

-Declined to allocate $200,000 to WestCare, which runs a program aimed at keeping chronic drunks, drug addicts and mentally ill people out of hospital emergency rooms and jails in the Las Vegas area. Instead, a subcommittee will look at the issue and report back in November.

WestCare Foundation executive Richard Steinberg said that so far this year the program has diverted more than 3,300 people from emergency rooms or jails to a center where they're stabilized and get advice on treatment.

WestCare had sought a $1.6 million-a-year allocation from the 2003 Legislature, but the measure died. Assemblyman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, IFC chairman, said it would be a bad precedent to allow any group that loses a fight in the Legislature to return between sessions to seek money.

-Approved spending plans for a stepped-up program to resolve hundreds of complaints between residents and homeowners associations in southern Nevada.

The state Real Estate Division will be able to hire six more people to add to the four-member staff in its ombudsman's office. Division Administrator Gail Anderson said the budget includes $150,000 to help offset the cost of mediation or arbitration services.

The homeowners associations will support the program by paying a year $3 per unit to the division. The new law creates a five-member commission to set regulations and decide penalties. The commission will also decide on the qualifications for community managers and may require them to pass an examination.

Nevada lawmakers have approved $5 million in spending by the state Department of Taxation for the next two years to cover costs for the collection of new tax revenues approved in July.

Charles Chinnock, executive director of the Department of Taxation, told the Interim Finance Committee on Tuesday that the agency is making progress on the $836 million tax package and is already collecting higher alcohol and cigarette taxes. The big part of the tax package, a levy on employer payrolls, takes effect Oct. 1.

The $5 million in funding is part of $27.5 million set aside by lawmakers for the agency to collect the new revenues and modernize its tax collection system.

Much of the money approved Tuesday by the IFC will be spent hiring 55 people to handle the workload required by the new payroll tax.

In other action, the committee:

-Declined to allocate $200,000 to WestCare, which runs a program aimed at keeping chronic drunks, drug addicts and mentally ill people out of hospital emergency rooms and jails in the Las Vegas area. Instead, a subcommittee will look at the issue and report back in November.

WestCare Foundation executive Richard Steinberg said that so far this year the program has diverted more than 3,300 people from emergency rooms or jails to a center where they're stabilized and get advice on treatment.

WestCare had sought a $1.6 million-a-year allocation from the 2003 Legislature, but the measure died. Assemblyman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, IFC chairman, said it would be a bad precedent to allow any group that loses a fight in the Legislature to return between sessions to seek money.

-Approved spending plans for a stepped-up program to resolve hundreds of complaints between residents and homeowners associations in southern Nevada.

The state Real Estate Division will be able to hire six more people to add to the four-member staff in its ombudsman's office. Division Administrator Gail Anderson said the budget includes $150,000 to help offset the cost of mediation or arbitration services.

The homeowners associations will support the program by paying a year $3 per unit to the division. The new law creates a five-member commission to set regulations and decide penalties. The commission will also decide on the qualifications for community managers and may require them to pass an examination.


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