YERINGTON - A Fernley printing company's request for a property tax abatement has been endorsed by county officials.
Reversing a previous decision, Lyon County commissioners voted 3-2 to send a letter in support of Quebecor Printing's request to the Nevada Commission on Economic Development for a 50 percent property tax abatement on new equipment.
Business tax abatements do not require a vote of approval by local governments, but the Commission of Economic Development generally will not grant abatements without receiving local support.
On April 6, county commissioners expressed unhappiness with their lack of say in the process and voted 4-1 to not support Quebecor's request for an abatement of approximately $274,570.
Quebecor officials appeared at last week's meeting and told the board they had met all the state requirements for the tax abatement but wanted the blessing of the board of commissioners.
Commissioners continued to speak harshly of the state's application process but said they did not want to send a negative message to businesses seeking to locate in Lyon County.
"We need jobs in this county. When we turn something like this down, we discourage a benefit to our economy. Fifty percent of one is better than 50 percent of none," Commissioner Bob Milz said.
Addressing his change of heart from the April meeting, Milz said he had time to analyze what had been put before him and, "I think we sent a message (to the Commission on Economic Development) and they received it loud and clear."
Commissioner Phyllis Hunewill, however, wasn't ready to let the state agency off the hook.
"Industry is necessary, but that is not the issue here. The whole process is wrong. t is ridiculous to bring this request to us to rubber-stamp a decision that has already been made. The process is out of sequence," she said.
Commissioner David Fulstone added, "It is the state giving away the county's money. I can see why they don't want our input. They said they would fix the process after TREX (another business that sought an abatement), and they still haven't."
Commissioners Milz, Chet Hillyard and LeRoy Goodman voted in favor of sending a letter of support to the Economic Development Commission.