CARSON CITY — The Nevada state Senate may have come to order at 12:44 p.m. Wednesday, but it wasn’t for another nine hours that senators actually were handed a copy of Senate Bill 1, the single bill the upper house will consider during this special session.
The 38-page bill was referred to the Senate’s Committee of the Whole, and will be considered starting at 9 a.m. today. “We’ve got lots of work to do,” said state Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis.
The Senate must not only debate and pass its bill, but also consider three bills that the Assembly debated on Wednesday and will likely vote on today. The Assembly must then consider the Senate’s bill. At least one prominent lobbyist was heard to say the special session will likely extend to Friday before lawmakers wrap up their business.
SB 1 was anticipated because it contains the bulk of the tax breaks that will be extend to Tesla Motors in order to induce the company to build its huge gigafactory in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, located in Storey County.
The Senate bill:
• Requires any company seeking to take advantage of tax abatements and transferrable tax credits to invest at least $3.5 billion in a 10-year span after approval.
• Qualified companies will get tax credits in the amount of $12,500 for each qualified employee; 5 percent of the first $1 billion investment and 2.8 percent of the next $2.5 billion of investment. Tax credits are limited to a maximum of $195 million.
• Requires at least 50 percent of the workers employed to build a project, and 50 percent of the workers who will eventually be employed there, to be Nevada residents.
• Allows qualified projects to skip out on paying property taxes and employer taxes for 10 years, and local sales and use taxes for 20 years.
• Allows local governments to create an “economic diversification district” in order to suspend sales and use taxes.
• Guts the film tax credit program approved by the 2013 Legislature: The program was authorized to give out $80 million in film credits to movies shot in Nevada. This bill would reduce that amount to just $10 million.
Stay tuned to SlashPolitics (and follow me on Twitter, if you don’t already) for updates today and, if necessary, Friday.