Nevada Jobs Coalition calls for construction spending

A group calling itself the Nevada Jobs Coalition wants the Legislature to take actions it says would create 100,000 jobs in recession-battered Nevada.

The biggest line-item from the coalition, which is organized through the Associated General Contractors, calls for spending $100 million to back more than $1 billion in bonds to fund construction and infrastructure projects.

From the coalition’s website:

These funds would be dedicated to a new state fund, the Nevada Job Bonds Support Fund. Assuming roughly $100 million in annual proceeds, if bonded for 20 years at current interest rates, would enable issuance of more than $1.0 billion for needed projects, or could be used on a pay-as–you-go basis to help close the gap on a deferred basis, or could be used on a combination basis for necessary improvements.

The bond issue, according to the group, would create more than 11,000 jobs. Other proposals include indexing the gas tax to rise and fall with the price of gasoline, eliminating tax rate sunsets that are dedicated to capital projects and increasing the amount of spending dedicated to maintenance to a level that matches the amount of depreciation.

Jeremy Aguero, a principal at the economics research firm Applied Analysis, who helped prepare the proposal, said building projects would address the fact that two out of three Nevada construction employees have been displaced from a job during the recession.

Aguero also said state government since 2009 has diverted about $500 million that would have gone toward capital projects to fund ongoing government operations.

"It goes counter toward any kind of economic stimulus," Aguero said of the notion of making diversions from long-term building that employs private-sector workers to paying to maintain ongoing government operational expenses.

The jobs group is hosting a press event Thursday in Reno to discuss its proposals in detail.


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