An evening to Remember Gala 2019 is in the Books. Thanks to all for the great success.
One Love GPS Yoga Is now Open in Their new location. Special thank you to all who came to the Grand opening Saturday and if you happened to miss it drop in and see what they have to offer.
Newly-elected Lt. Governor Kate Marshall addressed small business growth, the state’s consolidated tax and ways to bridge the gaps between rural and metropolitan areas in the state during the Fernley Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly luncheon Wednesday.
As lieutenant governor, Marshall’s roles include presiding over the state’s senate, overseeing Nevada’s tourism commission, serving as vice chair of the board of transportation and serving on the governor’s economic board.
On developing small business opportunities in the state:
Marshall said she intends to focus on economic development for small businesses and that she wants to be a small business advocate. She said 99 percent of Nevada’s businesses are small by the federal government’s guidelines and the state is ninth in the nation for women-owned ventures.
“We need to help small businesses thrive, not just open their doors,” she said.
She said economic development initiatives often tend to focus on bringing larger businesses and skilled workers while simultaneously overlooking local workforces. She said economic development should focus on building pipelines between businesses and young workers and students who are already in the area. Marshall said she favors apprenticeships, especially with small businesses.
“We have to get our kids in the workforce so they are getting the higher-paid jobs, not someone coming in from out of state,” she said.
Fernley City Councilman Ray Lacy, who is also a small business owner, expressed concerns about comments Gov. Steve Sisolak has made regarding raising the state’s minimum wage. Nevada’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour for those with benefits and $8.25 an hour for those without. It was last increased in 2010.
Marshall said Sisolak is considering a $12 an hour minimum wage, but that opponents of the increase should consider several factors. She said it will take a long time for a minimum wage increase to go into effect, and that there are options being modeled by other states that increased minimum wages, including increases relative to costs of living and size of employers, rather than just a flat increase.
“I really don’t think the governor understands – you put the wage at $12 an hour, where is that money coming from? You have to increase the price,” Lacy said. “The more they make, the more I have to charge. Something’s gotta give.”
Marshall also said she would back a compromise consolidated tax bill if Fernley brings one forward to state legislature. Marshall didn’t respond to an online request by the Mason Valley News to clarify her statement.
“I would be supportive of that and I will help you with that,” she said. “You need to draft a compromise proposal. I am supportive of a compromise proposal for you guys, especially with the way you are growing.”
She suggested Fernley look to new ways to generate support for a revised consolidated tax bill. She said Fernley would benefit from partnering with corporate partners at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center or other entities that have a vested interest in Fernley’s growth.
“We’ve done this where Fernley goes to the Legislature,” she said. “Now, can we broaden our supporters and our base?”
Nevada’s Consolidated Tax was implemented in 1997 to distribute funds from cigarettes, liquor, real property transfers and various other taxes to counties, cities and various special districts in the state. Fernley did not incorporate into a city until 2001 and the Department of Taxation determined the city’s base allocation afterward.
Revenue from the taxes are combined into the state’s Consolidated Tax account, which is dispersed to local governments under a two-tier system. Nevada’s 17 counties receive funding in the first tier and then distribute funding to eligible jurisdictions.
Nevada Revised Statutes requires a second-tier entity, such as Fernley, provide police protection and at least two services from among the following to consolidated tax funds: Fire protection, road maintenance or parks and recreation. Fernley provides road maintenance and park services, but its police services are provided by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. Fire services are provided by the North Lyon County Fire Protection District.
The city has gone to court to attempt to receive a larger portion of the tax. In 2016 the state Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the city of a district court’s decision to dismiss its lawsuit against the Department of Taxation and then-state treasurer Marshall. The lawsuit was filed in 2012.
Fernley garnered $167,000 from the consolidated tax in fiscal year 2018-19. The county brought in about $16 million.
Focusing on rural and metropolitan similarities, not differences
Marshall said residents and government entities need to focus on issues that are relevant to all Nevadans such as senior and veteran services. She said they are statewide issues, whether they are occurring in rural counties or in Las Vegas.
“There are certain areas where we have things in common, and I don’t think we recognize that, and we need to recognize that,” she said.