Top 5 Strategies

for creating jobs

  1. Create the Nevada Job Bonds Support Fund
    11,495 Jobs
  2. Require State and Local Governments to Dedicate Annual Appropriations / Authorizations
    3,823 Jobs
  3. Eliminate Tax Rate Sunsets Dedicated to Capital Projects
    3,077 Jobs

  4. Provide a Streamlined Permitting Process and Permit and Planning Fee Abatements
    3,483 Jobs
  5. Index the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax
    5,192 Jobs

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Economic Conditions

Nevada’s economy has been ravaged by the economic recession that began in December 2007. The economic downturn has required private sector employers to cut 179,400 jobs, and, at the same time, reduce hours, wages and benefits for their remaining employees. There is no precedent for these impacts in Nevada’s modern history.

Building Jobs Coalition

Northern Nevada
316 California Avenue
Reno, Nevada 89509
Phone: (775) 685-6550

Southern Nevada
150 N. Durango Drive
Suite 100
Las Vegas, Nevada 89145
Phone: (702) 796-9986


1Create the Nevada Job Bonds Support Fund...

...a Stable, Dedicated Revenue Source for Capital Projects

Providing for public infrastructure is a fundamental obligation of government. Without roads, bridges, buildings, and other public facilities, businesses could not conduct commerce and individuals could not participate in their government or avail themselves of necessary services.  Infrastructure is a necessity, not a luxury, and its construction and replacement should not depend on realization of unpredictable surpluses or inordinate amounts of borrowing.

Estimated Impact
Jobs Wages & Salaries Economic Activity
11,495 $675,053,384 $1,558,296,000

The state of Nevada’s present system of financing infrastructure is somewhat dysfunctional. The funding process for non-highway infrastructure consists primarily of estimating how much more debt the state issue within a 17-cent property tax rate, then cutting off the project priority list at the point the capacity for new debt is exceeded. With little debt capacity left due to declines in property values, state funding for non-highway infrastructure dropped from $217 million in 2001 to $158 million in 2009, and there is every possibility this will fall farther as property values are now less than projected in 2009.

Diverting money from local governments to the state is not the cure for this condition. In 2007, the state rejected a new revenue proposal for infrastructure, and instead took money from local governments and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to build only a portion of the state highway projects recommended by the Blue Ribbon Task Force. In 2009, the state drained its own capital improvement accounts and took yet more local money to avoid state layoffs. The balance in public policy has clearly shifted away from essential long-term infrastructure investment in favor of funding short-term operational decisions. Now, neither the state nor local governments have the infrastructure financing they need to offset even the annual wear and tear on existing infrastructure much less the projects in the development pipeline.

There is merit in considering a dedicated source of financing for infrastructure. This could take any number of forms. Perhaps the most direct solution would be to redirect capital project funds such as the property tax diverted from local governments in 2009 to dedicated capital program funds that cannot be diverted for state or local operations. To these funds the state may want to consider adding legislatively authorized transfers of excess petroleum cleanup funds, department of motor vehicles fees and other underutilized revenue streams. Beyond the restoration and or redirection existing revenue sources, new levies such as a ¼ of 1 percent sales tax, a $0.10-property tax levy, or an infrastructure surcharge imposed on all licensed vehicles could also generate the needed revenue. Although the form is ultimately important, having a secure stream of revenue that ensures the state’s capital projects can be maintained is the critical outcome.

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.

To further leverage the amount available and ensure the money is targeted for high priority areas, matching funds could be required from communities benefitting from the projects; and, where applicable, from school districts and higher education. If state projects are funded not at local request, the state general fund could also be required to provide the same match requirement as local governments or individual agencies. Criteria could be established based on project impact including but not limited to health and safety, critical environmental compliance, or other issues which, if not resolved, could lead to decline in the well being of the public.