Proposed Rules for Nevada's 'Green' Tax Breaks Revised

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Proposed rules to implement a new law lowering "green" tax breaks have been revised to ensure they're not too broad and meet the intent of Nevada lawmakers, the head of the state Taxation Department said Tuesday.

Dino DiCianno said the revision deletes items such as cranes, hoists and other heavy equipment from materials that can be included in the cost of a green project eligible for the tax breaks.

DiCianno also said he's working closely with the legal counsel for state lawmakers, and a final draft of the rules will be reviewed by legislators before going to the state Tax Commission for approval.

"All of us have been down a rough road with this, and hopefully we have something that will pass muster," he added in discussing the new law that lowers the tax breaks to ease projected revenue losses for state and local governments.

DiCianno also said that developers who have specific questions
about what's eligible for the tax reductions can get a formal
opinion from his office. Representatives of the Las Vegas Sands and
MGM Mirage expressed concerns about those materials.

When an initial draft was discussed last week, Assemblywomen Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, and Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas,
said it went beyond normal construction costs that would be entitled to the tax breaks, and listed items that would not be permanently incorporated into a green project.

AB621, the new law lowering the tax breaks, was approved after lawmakers learned 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.

The new law 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.

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.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)