78th (2015) Nevada Legislature Session Summary

  • June 30, 2015

78th (2015) Nevada Legislature Session Summary

78th (2015) Nevada Legislature Session Summary 

The 78th Session of the Nevada Legislature wrapped up on June 1, 2015.  In total Governor Sandoval signed 549 bills into law and vetoed 6.  AB 483 is one of the more significant pieces of legislation which imposes new commerce taxes, as well as new fees and other taxes for Nevada businesses – learn more in this blog.

In this article you will find a very brief summary of a number of bills which Incline Law Group believes may be of relevance or interest to our readers.  For a full list of newly passed legislation or to read the full text of any bill, visit the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau website.

BILL #

EFFECTIVE DATE BILL SUMMARY

TYPE

SB 253

10/1/2015

Excludes “guaranteed asset protection waivers” from certain provisions that govern and regulate insurance and prohibits a creditor who sells or offers for sale guaranteed asset protection waivers from including certain words in the name of the business of the creditor that could indicate that the creditor is an insurer.

Asset Protection

SB 264

10/1/2015 The Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA) sets forth statute of limitations periods for fraudulent transfer of property to avoid an obligation or creditor’s claims. This bill specifically includes spendthrift trust provisions from the UFTA. Asset Protection

AB 137

10/1/2015 Revises provisions relating to unlicensed contractors. Makes it a misdemeanor for a licensed contractor to solicit a bid or estimate from any unlicensed person and increases fines for several new and old violations of construction license laws. Contractors

SB 50 & SB 223 & SB 254

Various Dates SB 50 changes several technical requirements regarding the regulation and licensing of contractors. SB50 also creates new limitations on eligibility to recover from the insolvent contractor residential Recovery Fund administered by the State. SB223 makes technical changes regarding liens for wages and payment of certain benefits in certain projects. SB 254 regulates the amount of retainage that may be withheld from progress payments to  contractors in public works (5%) and private works (10%) and also provides the conditions on which retainage must be paid out to the contractors. Contractors

AB 125

2/24/2015 Makes a variety of technical and substantive changes to the rules regarding residential construction defect claims. In several different ways, the new changes significantly improve the legal position of developers and contractors in these cases. Contractors – Residential Construction Defect Claims

AB 44

7/1/2015 Makes various technical changes and expands the range of opportunities to use judgments by confession in justice courts. Courts/Litigation

AB 66

10/1/15 & 1/1/17 Increases the jurisdictional limits of justice courts in Washoe County and Clark County from $10,000 to $15,000, and the small claims limit from $7,500 to $10,000. Courts/Litigation

AB 435

7/1/2015 Creates a new 11th judicial district in Nevada to cover Lander, Mineral and Pershing counties, providing better efficiency for courts in Nevada’s rural counties. Courts/Litigation

SB 134

5/30/2015 Limits the amount of a bond needed in certain cases to obtain a stay of execution (collection) on a judgment pending appeal. Courts/Litigation

SB 224

6/1/2015 Establishes elements for a conclusive presumption that a person is an independent contractor for purposes of NRS 608. Employment

AB 92

10/1/2015 Makes changes to NRS 126.720 concerning adoptions, requiring the State Registrar of Vital Statistics to show the names of intended parents (adoptive) on birth certificates upon receipt of court orders issued by district courts in Nevada approving gestational agreements for children born in the State of Nevada. Family Law – Adoption

AB 151

10/1/2015 Provides that a court can ignore age restrictions for certain family members to adopt children if it is in the best interest of the child and the public. Also changes requirements for consent to adoption by spouse: a married person must obtain consent from spouse but obligations of other spouse are limited. Imposes a six-month wait for certain adoptions. Family Law – Adoption

AB 303

7/1/2015 With respect to the protection of children in terms of abuse and termination of parental rights, this bill expands the definition of “abuse” to include whether one of the child’s caregivers has abused another child in the household as evidence that any other child in the household is in need of protection. Family Law – Child Welfare

AB 324

7/1/2015 Revises provisions mandating the reporting of missing and runaway children within 24 hours and brings certain state regulations in conformity with federal laws. Family Law – Child Welfare

AB 263

7/1/2015 The most important family law legislation for this session, making sweeping changes to NRS 125.040 regarding determinations regarding child custody. Most importantly, it recognizes that non married parents should have the same presumptive rights to share joint legal and physical custody that married parents have. The statute now also imposes the same relocation standards that apply to out of state moves to moves within the state of Nevada if the move is at such a distance within the state that it would substantially impair the ability of the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child and adds a punitive attorney’s fees provision for bad faith conduct with respect to either parent in relationship to a relocation petition. The changes to this section also now make it a category D felony to relocate with a child without the written consent of the other parent or a court order. Family Law – Custody

AB 132

7/1/2015 Increases the fee for someone who commences an action for divorce in district court from $20 to $30 and extends the fee to those commencing an action for termination of a domestic partnership. Family Law – Divorce or Separation

AB 388

7/1/2015 This statute provides for additional filing fees that can be collected in modification proceedings filed in any divorce or separation proceedings that were originally submitted as joint petitions. It allows for the county to obtain a $129 filing fee for a motion to modify or enforce and a $57 filing fee for any opposition which helps them to recoup the lost filing fees on the front end of an “uncontested” divorce or separation proceeding that later results in a contested matter. Family Law – Divorce or Separation

AB 262

7/1/2015 The new provisions designate the priority for appointment of guardians and now allow, among other things, for the appointment of a nonresident over a resident if the nonresident was nominated and qualified to serve. Family Law – Guardianship

AB 362

10/1/2015 Makes modifications regarding the procedure for filing post judgment motions in divorce or separation cases based on a party’s omission of a community property asset or liability. It now requires that such motions, based on fraud or mistake, must be filed within three years from the entry of Judgment. Family Law – Judgments

AB 58

7/1/2015 Enhances the confidentiality of juvenile justice information and provides that it is a gross misdemeanor to disseminate or make public juvenile justice information. Family Law – Juvenile Rights

AB 112

10/1/2015 Amends the state’s anti-bullying bill to include that the quality of instruction is impacted by poor attitudes or interactions among administrators, principals, teachers and other personnel of the district as well as sets forth reporting requirements for violating this new provision. Misc.- Anti-bullying

SB 504

7/1/2015 Provides procedures and guidelines for the discipline of teachers and administrators, including revoking their license for non-compliance with anti-bullying statutes. Gives parents the power to petition superintendent to compel teachers and administrators to comply with anti-bullying laws. Misc.- Anti-bullying

SB 414

Immediately Encourages the Board of Regents to enter into reciprocal agreements with the State of California to authorize waivers of nonresident tuition to certain residents of Nevada and California in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Misc.- College Tuition

AB 239

Multiple Dates Revises the definition of “aircraft” to include unmanned aerial vehicles (“drones”) for regulation purposes, allowing for the regulation of drones, including the extension of trespass and police search protections to drone use as well as prohibiting the addition of weapons to drones. Misc.- Drone Regulation

SB170

Multiple Dates Sets forth criteria and limits for the authorization of a partial abatement of property taxes and local sales and use taxes to a data center that locates or expands in this State and meets certain qualifications. Misc.- Economic Development

SB 276

Multiple Dates Reallocates the number of certified medical marijuana establishments to other counties when there are no qualified applicants in a county or there are unused certificates in a county. Revises law to allow for transfer of ownership and relocation of a medical marijuana establishment. Misc.- Medical Marijuana

SB 305

Multiple Dates Authorizes an institution of higher education or State Department of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes if certified with the Department. Also, it excludes industrial hemp from the definition of “marijuana.” Misc.- Medical Marijuana

SB 447

7/1/2015 Makes it a crime to forge or counterfeit a letter of approval for medical marijuana or to possess a forged or counterfeit medical marijuana card. Defines “concentrated cannabis” and prohibits its extraction. Provides guidelines for medical marijuana use and approval for children under 10 years of age. Misc.- Medical Marijuana

AB 175

Multiple Dates Provides a definition for “transportation network company” (i.e. Uber, Lyft) and sets forth the regulations and requirements for such companies which include requiring background checks and a taxation structure. Misc.- Nevada Transportation Authority

AB 176

Multiple Dates Establishes the Yellow Dot Program which alerts first responders that a person who is regularly a driver or a passenger in a vehicle has important medical information that can be found in the glove compartment in the case of an emergency or collision. Misc.- Nevada Transportation Authority

SB 401

Multiple Dates Authorizes a person to file a complaint with the Secretary of State if the person is aware of a violation of existing law governing notaries public and implements new application requirements for notaries public or those apply for registration as a document preparation service. Misc.- Notary Publics

AB 162

1/1/2016 Authorizes certain peace officers to wear recording devices and requires agencies to implement policies governing use of recording devices and retention of records. Also establishes that any record on a recording device is a public record subject to inspection. Misc.- Police Transparency

AB 88

10/1/2015 Revises the Charter of the City of Reno with various changes. Gives the City Council more power to hire and appoint temporary vacant positions as well as imposes limits on number of employees and positions City Council may employ. Misc.- Reno City Council

AB 86

7/1/2015 Makes several minor changes to the current Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (State version of Obamacare). Reduces required meetings of the board from quarterly to annually, allows for compensation if money is available and reduces restrictions on who can sit on the board. Misc.- Silver State Health Insurance Exchange

SB 2

10/1/2015 Increases the maximum speed limit in Nevada from 75 to 80 miles per hour and expands the imposition of the current limited fine of $25 for incremental speed violations up to 85 miles per hour. Misc.- Speed Limit

SB 312

7/1/2015 Imposes a surcharge to certain room rates in certain cities (i.e. Reno) to improve and maintain publicly owned facilities. Misc.- Taxation

SB 231

Multiple Dates (5/27/15 & 1/1/16) Addresses controlled substances provided for injuries, timeframes for payment of bills by insurers, and injuries when employee impaired. Misc.- Workers’ Compensation

SB 232

Multiple Dates (5/27/15 & 1/1/16) Provides for numerous changes to laws affecting procedures for handling Workers’ Compensation claims. Misc.- Workers’ Compensation

AB 192

10/1/2015 Established different time periods for a developer to turnover control of the HOA based on the number of units in the development. This bill also revises the election of unit owners to the executive board during the period of the original developer’s control. Real Property – HOA

AB 238

10/1/2015 Requires an HOA to solicit three bids for works of improvement whenever possible depending on size of HOA and amount of expected cost relative to a percentage of the annual budget. Real Property – HOA

SB 389

10/1/2015 Amends existing law (116B) pertaining to condominium hotels and adds numerous provisions, some of which are amendments recommended for UCIOA by the Uniform Law Commission (UCL). Real Property – HOA/Condominium Hotels

SB 306

Various Dates Addresses the NV Sp Ct decision in SFR Investments Pool 1 v. US Bank by amending existing elements of Super Priority HOA liens, and notices  and procedures that apply to nonjudicial foreclosure sales to enforce those liens. This a very detailed bill that amends many provisions concerning liens and sales under liens to secure amounts due HOAs. Among other provisions, it includes new or amended requirements for notices to be given to foreclose an HOA lien; requirements for place where the sale is to be held, or postponed to the same location, date and time for a maximum of three (3) postponements, and new notices required if there are more than three (3) postponements. It also allows payment of Super Priority liens prior to sale, and NEW provisions allowing for redemption after the sale under certain circumstances. The bill also provides new notices required if a property is subject to the Foreclosure Mediation Program. A close review of the amendments should be undertaken if you are involved with an HOA sale either for the association or as the owner or a potential bidder at an HOA nonjudicial sale. October 1, 2015 is a key date that affects HOA sales that are subject to these amendments.This is the much-debated legislative response to the SFR case (Sept. 2014) discussed in prior Clarity blogs, including an update on the subject. Real Property – HOA Super Priority Liens

AB 183

10/1/2015 Provides that a grantee of a deed in lieu of foreclosure is liable for damages and attorneys’ fees for failure to record the conveyancing deed. Real Property – Leasing/Lending

AB 195

7/1/2015 Clarifies the amount of deficiency judgment that may be awarded against a debtor or guarantor under NRS 40.459.  A deficiency judgment is now limited to the lesser of the difference between the amount owed and the fair market value, plus interest from the date of the sale, or the difference between the sale price and the amount of indebtedness, plus interest from the date of the sale.  If the foreclosed property is a primary residence, a deficiency judgment is further limited by the consideration paid by a purchaser of the right to obtain the judgment. Real Property – Leasing/Lending

AB 379

10/1/2015 Allows a landlord of a commercial lease to change the locks only after providing at least three days notice by certified mail of the failure to pay rent and the intent to change the locks. Real Property – Leasing/Lending

AB 386

10/1/2015 Provides landlord remedies for the eviction of persons who have forcibly entered or detained a dwelling. Real Property – Leasing/Lending

SB 239

6/1/2015 Prescribes requirements for termination or suspension of a line of credit and the recordation of the same. This bill also reduces the time period in which to file an action relating to a nonjudicial foreclosure sale and provides protections for bona fide purchasers for value at a foreclosure sale. Real Property- Leasing/Lending

AB 97

5/27/2015 Provides that a will that is delivered or presented to the clerk of a court becomes part of the permanent record maintained by the clerk of the court, whether or not a petition for probate is filed. The will now also becomes a court record open to inspection unless sealed pursuant to Part VII of the Nevada Supreme Court Rules. Trusts/Estate/Probate

AB 128

6/4/2015 Creates a power of attorney for health care decisions for adults with intellectual disabilities. Existing law provides for a statutory form for a power of attorney for health care decisions. This act provides such a form for adults with intellectual disabilities and a form for end-of-life decisions for adults with intellectual disabilities. Trusts/Estate/Probate – Guardianship

AB 130

10/1/2015 Increases the jurisdiction amount of a decedent’s estate that may be subject to summary administration from $200,000 to $300,000, after deducting encumbrances. Increases the size of a decedent’s gross estate that may be subject to transfer by affidavit from $20,000 to $100,000 for a surviving spouse, and to $25,000 for all others, excluding the value of any automobiles. Trusts/Estate/Probate

SB 384

5/27/2015 In 2009, Nevada enacted legislation to allow for family trust companies to exist without public supervision, unless the family trust company desires to be licensed. This act updates provisions of the law that apply when a family trust company chooses to be licensed. Trusts/Estate/Probate

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It’s a Crime if Congress Doesn’t Extend the Mortgage Debt Relief Act

  • June 29, 2015

As a result of the mortgage crisis in 2007, Congress enacted the Mortgage Debt Relief Act (MDRA).  The MDRA alleviated tax consequences for most homeowners resulting from debt forgiveness by their mortgage lenders after a short sale, deed in lieu or foreclosure sale of a primary residence.  Without the MDRA, when a mortgage lender forgives or waives collection of mortgage debt after a short sale or foreclosure sale, a homeowner is often stuck paying income tax on the amount forgiven.

The MDRA was enacted in 2007, and was extended several times.  The last extension ended December 31, 2014, and only after Congress voted in January of 2015 for a retroactive extension.  As of the writing of this article, the MDRA is not currently in effect and there is little to no public discussion about renewing, extending or perhaps making the MDRA permanent.  The failure of Congress to address this issue is completely inconsistent with its support and funding of mortgage relief programs, and may leave many homeowners in deeper water than they ever imagined.

There are two key reasons why Congress should address the MDRA now and to provide homeowners with the certainty they need to make informed decisions.  The first reason is that certain federal programs like HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program), which are federally funded through December 2016, provide various types of mortgage relief, some of which support the reduction of loan principal.  If a homeowner is lucky enough to see a principal reduction, the reduction often occurs over the course of three years.  Whether a homeowner receives a tiered reduction, or a one-time lump sum principal reduction, any principal reduction is the equivalent of debt forgiveness.  And, debt forgiveness = taxable income.  Without the MDRA, HAMP may actually hurt some homeowners.

The second key reason why Congress should address an extension of the MDRA is that the crisis isn’t over.  In an effort to help homeowners, many states, such as Nevada, enacted legislation that had the effect of significantly slowing down the foreclosure process.  While these states may look like their housing markets are recovering, there are still thousands if not hundreds of thousands of homeowners that are still stuck in the cycle of distressed mortgage debt, loan modifications, short sales and foreclosure.  It will likely take several years for these homeowners to work through the system and reach resolution.

So, whether a homeowner gets relief under a federally funded program like HAMP, or is unable to resolve their mortgage debt in a timely manner because of state law, the ultimate result is likely debt forgiveness at some time in the future…when the MDRA will not provide tax relief.  Unless Congress addresses the MDRA, homeowners may get pulled under all over again.

This blog was originally published on June 29, 2015.

 

Project MANA Mountain Kids Cook-Off at Northstar

  • June 23, 2015

Cassell von Bayer, a partner at Incline Law Group, has served on the Board of Trustees for Project Project MANA logoMANA for over three years and feels very strongly about their mission: to reduce the incidence of hunger and its detrimental effects upon individuals, families, the community and the region. In addition to providing hunger relief, Project MANA has developed programs designed to alleviate the causes of hunger and promote nutrition through education and awareness.

Cassell invites you to join her at the 1st Annual Mountain Kids Cook-Off, a brand new kid’s culinary competition and fundraiser being produced jointly by Project MANA and Northstar California, taking place at Northstar.

PMANA Mtn Kids Cookoff Kids ages 8-12 are invited to submit a video (due July  17) explaining why they should be one of the lucky teams  selected to battle it out at the Mountain Kids Cook-Off.  Ten teams will be selected to cook in the semi-final round on Sunday, August 16 at the Northstar Zephyr Lodge. Teams will be given a platter of secret ingredients and will have to create a dish to excite the judges. All participants will receive a logo-ed apron, and two lucky teams will be selected to compete in the finals on Saturday, September 12 during the 30th anniversary of the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival. Two final teams will battle it out on the Village Stage in front of their friends and families for the winner’s trophy and more cool prizes!

The semi-final round (Sunday, August 16) will also be a fundraiser benefiting Project MANA, a local Tahoe-based non-profit. Families, friends and spectators will be invited to attend the semi-finals to cheer on their teams during the on-mountain luncheon. Tickets are $20 per adult and $10 per child and all proceeds will go directly to Project MANA. Complimentary tickets will be available on an as-needed basis to a limited number of families. Please contact Project MANA directly for details.

For more information on entering the challenge, please email karis-at-projectmana.org, call (775) 298-0008 or click here for more detail and where to send video submissions.

New Nevada Business Fees and Taxes – Effective July 1, 2015

  • June 17, 2015

Nevada Business Fees & Taxes

With the passage of SB 483 several new business fees and taxes will go into effect July 1, 2015. Below is a summary of the key provisions that may impact your Nevada business:

 Business License and Filing Fees

  • Annual list and initial list fees will increase by $25 for all entity types
  • State Business License Fees will increase from $200 to $500 for Corporations formed under NRS Chapters 78, 78A, 78B, 80 and 89.
  • Any annual or initial list or Business License application for August or earlier, received prior to July 1, 2015 will be assessed the pre-July fees.
  • Fees for reinstatements and revivals received after July 1, 2015 will be calculated based on the new fees, even if for prior years.

Payroll Taxes

The Modified Business Tax (MBT) is currently imposed on businesses other than financial institutions in the amount of 1.17 percent of wages paid above an exemption level of $85,000 per quarter. The MBT will increase from 1.17 percent to 1.475 percent for most businesses. Mining companies will join financial institutions in paying the higher 2 percent tax rate. The MBT base is broadened by reducing the exemption to $50,000 per quarter.

Commerce Tax

The new Commerce Tax is a modified gross receipts tax levied on businesses’ Nevada gross revenue in excess of $4 million per year, less certain subtractions including distributions from pass-through entities, stock proceeds, bad debts expensed on federal taxes, and net income from a passive entity to the extent that income was generated by another business entity. The new Commerce Tax divides Nevada’s economy into 26 business categories, each consisting of one or more industry classifications as delineated under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Each business category is assigned its own gross receipts tax rate with rates ranging from 0.051 percent to 0.331 percent. Businesses which do not fit into any other category are taxed at the 0.128 percent rate for Unclassified businesses.

Business Category Tax Rate Business Category Tax Rate
Rail Transportation 0.33% Management of Companies 0.14%
Educational Services 0.28% Utilities/Telecommunications 0.14%
Waste Management Services 0.26% Other Transportation 0.13%
Publishing, Software, Data Processing 0.25% Warehousing and Storage 0.13%
Real Estate 0.25% Unclassified 0.13%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 0.24% Retail Trade 0.11%
Truck Transportation 0.20% Financial Activities 0.11%
Accommodation 0.20% Wholesale Trade 0.10%
Food Services (includes restaurants) 0.19% Manufacturing 0.09%
Health Services 0.19% Construction 0.08%
Professional Services 0.18% Agriculture 0.06%
Administrative and Support Services 0.15% Air Transportation 0.06%
Other Services 0.14% Mining 0.05%

Sales Tax

The state’s 6.85 percent sales tax is composed of four taxes: the 2 percent state rate, a 2.6 percent Local School Support Tax, a 0.5 percent Basic City-County Relief Tax, and a 1.75 percent Supplemental City-County Relief Tax. The Local School Support Tax’s current rate is a temporary increase adopted in 2009, scheduled to sunset to 2.25 percent at the end of the current fiscal year. The newly adopted tax plan makes the current rate permanent.

Cigarette Tax

Cigarette taxes, currently set at 80 cents per pack, will rise to $1.80 per pack under the new tax package.

Live Entertainment Tax

With limited exceptions, all live ticketed venues will now be subject to a 9 percent tax on admissions, with food and beverage exempt from the LET. Boxing matches will subject to a reduced 8 percent rate. NASCAR’s continued exemption from the LET is contingent upon holding two races per year in Nevada. Non-profit events distributing more than 7,500 tickets are no longer exempt.

Happy 800th Birthday Magna Carta

  • June 15, 2015

Eight Hundred years ago today, June 15, 1215, the Magna Carta was signed and sealed by King John of England.

Magna Carta

The Magna Carta or “Great Charter” of 1215 is a long list of  agreements between the King and barons designed to limit the king’s arbitrary powers. While the Magna Carta initially only lasted a number of weeks before it was annulled by the Pope, it is often cited as the earliest expression of the “rule of law” and the right to due process  of law.  There is much debate among historians and legal scholars over the true significance of the Magna Carta. While the Magna Carta only created rights for wealthy barons and lasted a short time before it was annulled, the idea of limiting the arbitrary powers of a monarch and the idea that one’s life, limb or property could not be taken without due process of law according to law, with decisions to be made by juries comprised of one’s peers, is considered foundational to our justice system today.

Happy birthday Magna Carta.

Signature Required: Electronic or “Wet”?

  • June 11, 2015

Technology has made our lives much easier. Most of us can no longer fathom leaving the house without our cell phone or taking a trip without bringing along their laptop and/or tablet. With the prevalence of technology today, it is not surprising that the law is adjusting to the use of technology.

If you purchased a home in the last decade, there is a strong likelihood that you were exposed to the world of electronic signatures (e-signatures) which streamline the process of signing documents such as offer and acceptance paperwork. As an example, if a seller was in New York and buyer was in California, having an offer on acceptance paperwork signed with “wet signatures” could take days. With multiple offers and counteroffers, days could easily become weeks. However, e-signatures allow instant turn around for documents.

are-electronic-signatures-legalBoth California and Nevada have enacted versions of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (“UETA”). This Act attempts to make laws consistent across all those states that have adopted it. In adopting the majority of the UETA, Nevada and California have paved the way for many other agreements to be signed electronically. However, there are certain legal documents that still require a “wet” signature (an original ink signature) to be enforceable.

For example, California Civil Code Section 1633.3(b)(1) specifically excludes wills, codicils, and testamentary trusts from the UETA meaning that these documents require an original wet signature to be deemed valid. Technology can help streamline our daily lives. However, it is not perfect and there are some instances when a pen and paper is the only way to legally enforce an agreement. Before signing anything electronically, please consult your attorney.