The 2013 state legislative session wrapped up less than two months ago, but that hasn’t kept lawmakers from eyeing their next go-round.
Talk of new laws and future proposals dominated a July 25 luncheon at The Orleans by the NAIOP Southern Nevada chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. The event featured a panel of four Nevada lawmakers: Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas; Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas; Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno; and Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Reno.
The panel, moderated by political commentator Elizabeth Crum, talked about the tax fights of the legislative session that ended in June, and offered a glimpse of what’s to come in 2014 and 2015.
The business margins tax was the hottest topic. The levy, designed to add $800 million a year to state education spending, would put a 2 percent tax on revenue minus company costs and compensation. The first $1 million in revenue would be exempt. The proposal didn’t have firm support from the panel, perhaps not a surprise given the mixed reaction it got in the Legislature. The tax went straight to the 2014 ballot after lawmakers failed to vote on it.
Kieckhefer and Hickey said they oppose the tax. Denis said he hasn’t decided to support it, because he’s worried the rate is too high and there’s no way to adjust the tax. And Kirkpatrick wouldn’t take a stand on it except to say it’s the kind of policy that will happen absent bigger reforms.
“Until we do something in this state to broaden the tax base and clean up our tax system, this is going to be the way of the future,” she said. “We have to fix some of our tax structure. Do I think it’s the right tax? No. But we have choices to make.”
Hickey said he’s willing to look at a new, broad-based business tax in 2015. A tax on services could work, if it’s fair, he said. But he said he also expects some give and take.
“The (Republican) party talks about revenue-neutral taxes. I don’t want to hide behind that,” Hickey said. “If you have a good tax that doesn’t hinder economic development, it shouldn’t be revenue-neutral. It should, in fact, generate more money. Our caveat is, if you want Republicans to agree to spend more money, please agree to some areas where we can save public dollars.”
Despite their disagreements, panelists said they were mostly pleased with the session.
“Other than not getting a tax hike for education, there were a lot of things we did,” Denis said. “I thought we had a really successful session. My No. 1 goal was to make sure we got along and worked together.”
Kirkpatrick said her biggest regret was falling short at reforming the state’s live entertainment tax. Her proposal called for an 8 percent levy on tickets to concerts, and taxes on tours and nightclubs. The idea didn’t get much support from other lawmakers, but Kirkpatrick said she’ll “absolutely try again” in 2015.
And Hickey said Southern Nevada will benefit from new formulas for distributing public dollars to the state’s colleges and universities, though rural campuses may suffer. He said some community colleges in remote communities may have to tap private dollars from mining companies and other businesses.
In other real estate-related news:
■ Trade-show and event marketing company Derse boosted its space by nearly 50 percent, moving from an 89,000-square-foot plant near Tropicana Avenue and Interstate 15 to a 133,400-square-foot warehouse and fabrication center at 3200 E. Gowan Road in North Las Vegas. The new building opened July 22.
Officials with Milwaukee-based Derse said they’d outgrown their former plant, and needed more space for employees and clients. The new space will let Derse build, store and stage exhibit booths for clients who want to see how a display looks before it hits the convention floor.
Derse, which has 400 employees companywide and 50 employees in Las Vegas, has been in the local market since 1994. It develops trade-show and event-based marketing and advertising campaigns and materials for companies in gaming, the automotive industry, consumer electronics, construction, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and sports and recreation.
Jeremy Green, a first vice president specializing in industrial space with local brokerage CB Richard Ellis, represented Derse in the lease, which will run about seven years. Dan Doherty, SIOR, and Chris Lane of Colliers International represented the landlord, PAR Industrial, a division of Pacific Life Insurance Co. They said in a March transaction note that the deal was worth about $3.5 million.
■ Commercial brokerage Avison Young brought on Aaron Goldberg as an associate of its Capital Markets Group. Goldberg, who specializes in investment property sales, land sales and medical office leasing and sales, comes to Avison Young from Goliath Properties, where he was a commercial broker who closed deals on bulk residential lots and multifamily projects, among other product types. He also leased up more than 500,000 square feet of medical office space as an associate with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.
■ Brokers with Colliers International completed several recent deals:
Scott Gragson and Robert Torres represented GK Acquisitions and Cochrane Revocable Living Trust in the $1.8 million sale of four acres of land at the southeast corner of Cimarron Street and Badura Avenue. Marlene Fujita of CB Richard Ellis represented the buyer, BABB LLC.
Crescent Real Estate Equities retained Tom Stilley, Liz Stilley, Ryan Martin, CCIM, and Patti Dillon to broker a 50-month lease to VIP Tickets inside the Hughes Corporate Center, at 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway.
Brian Riffel helped CKS LLC lease 3,664 square feet of space at 149 Gibson Road to Capital Tint. The four-year lease is worth $129,763. Gary Burgher of Pro Commercial Real Estate represented Capital Tint.
Scot Marker represented landlord Centra Pecos Legacy in a four-year, $106,516 lease to Las Vegas Bungee. Jeanene Maxsom of Dunbar Commercial represented Las Vegas Bungee in the deal, which is for 2,846 square feet of space at 2558 Wigwam Parkway.
Sound Packaging LLC signed a 39-month lease renewal on 8,652 square feet at 3908 Civic Center Drive. Colliers’ Dan Doherty, SIOR, Chris Lane and Jerry Doty represented landlord ATC Realty One LLC in the $111,149 deal, while Tyler Ecklund of CB Richard Ellis represented Sound Packaging.
Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at email@example.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.