CARSON CITY – Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick told Senate and Assembly taxation committees Tuesday that of 174 state, local and district governments in Nevada, only North Las Vegas and Fernley oppose a new formula for distribution of state taxes to them.
“I live in North Las Vegas and represent it 100 percent,” she said. “I don’t necessarily agree where they come from (in opposing the new formula). I am disappointed my own city is going to propose an amendment on Thursday. I thought we had worked out a formula for all entities.”
Kirkpatrick said North Las Vegas officials think the city should have received $100 million more in state taxes over the past eight years.
Fernley, a city of 19,000 in Northern Nevada, has sued state government on grounds it has been denied its fair share of state dollars since its 2001 incorporation. The state Supreme Court threw out part of the case but sent the rest back to District Court for trial.
Both legislative committees on Tuesday discussed the consolidated tax formula under which the state distributes shares of six state taxes back to counties, cities, towns and districts.
Kirkpatrick led an interim committee that discussed the issue, particularly problems faced by North Las Vegas and Fernley, and developed a new formula that will be discussed Thursday.
North Las Vegas Finance Director Al Zochowski said in one hearing that his city loses $20 million to $30 million a year to Clark County and local governments because of unfairness in the 1997 tax distribution formula.
Fernley Mayor Leroy Goodman testified his city receives only $138,000 a year from the state for those taxes.
Assembly Taxation Chairwoman Irene Bustamante Adams, D-Las Vegas, said analysts will examine the formula so every legislator and citizen can understand it. Legislators hope to pass the bill by March 15.
The formula relies on population, assessed value and other factors over a five-year period to determine how funds are distributed.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.