Nevada Lawmakers Focus on Job Creation - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Nevada Lawmakers Focus on Job Creation

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Senate Democrats have a series of legislation they say will create thousands of jobs.

They say some of the bills have bipartisan support.

Construction is Nevada's second largest employment industry and both parties agree that something needs to be done to get it moving again.

Senator Kelvin Atkinson is sponsoring Senate Bill 171 that would take Government Service Tax money that was redirected to the general fund and put it back into the highway fund.

"This would put the money back where it is supposed to be, in the process, creating thousands of good paying jobs and fixing our roads and our schools," Atkinson (D) District 4 said.

"We have road needs," Senator Ben Kieckhefer (R) Assistant Minority Leader said. "We have construction needs and infrastructure needs that we need to fund. Finding a way to back-fill that money into the general fund is an important question that still has yet to be answered."

Senator Debbie Smith also has two bills on the table.

SB 173 would add $10 million to the Knowledge Fund, doubling Governor Brian Sandoval's proposal.

She says the money would increase research projects at our local universities.

SB 172 proposes waiving the payroll tax for employers that hire jobless Nevadans.

"Employers often say that they don't have an incentive to hire someone because they're going to pay more taxes," Smith (D) Assistant Majority Leader said. "So, this would hopefully give them an incentive. It's not a loss of revenue. It would grow our modified business tax."

That's a concept some Republicans say they could get on board with after looking at the details.

"As long as they aren't tax increases, I think it makes sense," Senator Pete Goicoechea (R) District 19 said. "The thing with tax incentives is you have to make sure who is paying the bill."

Tax incentives are the basis of SB 165, focused on getting more movies filmed in Nevada.

Senator Aaron Ford and Assemblyman Paul Aizley are the sponsors of this bill.

"This will not only create jobs for those involved in the productions but it will boost our tourism industry by giving Nevada publicity, in films, that will be seen across the world," Ford (D) Assistant Majority Whip said.

Others agree that Nevada is a great place to shoot movies but say when it comes to incentives like this, we have to be cautious.

"We need to look pretty hard at that," Kieckhefer said. "Put a pencil on it and figure out if the pencil is out for Nevada, in terms of revenue, what we're giving away versus what we're getting back."

Lawmakers are also looking at protecting natural resource industries and continuing the sunset taxes to help the economy grow.

Written by Paul Nelson

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