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Nevada Assembly Passes Compromise Green Building Tax Bill

Pursuant to Governor Jim Gibbons’ executive order, issued a couple of weeks ago, the Nevada State Assembly unanimously passed AB621 on Saturday. The legislation will halve the financial hit on state coffers from Nevada’s green building property tax abatement program by reducing the maximum abatement to thirty-five percent. The abatement will now only be applicable to tax on property improvements and not the value of the underlying land. Moreover, the sales tax exemption on construction materials and furnishings is not included in AB621 (as it was in the original legislation) and, in order to shield funding for education, the tax break will not apply to the 75 cents of property tax that is designated for Nevada’s public schools.

On its surface, the revised bill does not seem as dramatically different as the articles discussing the suspension of the program insinuated. Also, I’ve yet to find the LEED White Paper that the Nevada Public Works Board (“PWB”) was developing to present to Governor Gibbons. I anticipate that we’ll see some commentary this week from PWB chief Bruce Nipp and others who raised concerns about the LEED system in connection with the Governor’s executive order.

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