Are Your Bed Bugs for Rent?

  • April 14, 2017

The California legislature isn’t taking bed bugs lying down. California has enacted new landlord/tenant laws relating to bed bug infestations in rental properties. It is important for landlords to take note of the new provisions relating to bed bugs and to consult with their attorneys to make sure they are in compliance with these new provisions.

CCC §1954.602, which became effective on January 1, 2017, states:

  • A landlord shall not show, rent, or lease to a prospective tenant any vacant dwelling unit that the landlord knows has a current bed bug infestation.
  • This section does not impose a duty on a landlord to inspect a dwelling unit or the common areas of the premises for bed bugs if the landlord has no notice of a suspected or actual bed bug infestation. If a bed bug infestation is evident on visual inspection the landlord shall be considered to have notice pursuant to this section.

In addition to the requirements set forth in §1954.602 above, effective July 1, 2017, landlords must provide written notice, as prescribed by the California Civil Code, to prospective tenants with general information about bed bug identification, behavior and biology, the importance of cooperation for prevention and treatment, and the importance of and for prompt written reporting of suspected infestations to the landlord.  This notice provision will apply to all existing tenants effective January 1, 2018.

In addition to the foregoing, the legislature has incorporated the new bed bug statutes into those that govern landlord retaliation (prohibiting a landlord from retaliating against a tenant who gives notice to the landlord about the suspected presence of bed bugs).  Additional provisions have been added to the Civil Code that govern access to the premises to inspect for bed bugs as well as a requirement to provide a report to the tenant within two business days of receipt of the report from the pest control operator.

So, what about Nevada?  Just because a landlord is in Nevada does not mean that he/she cannot learn from the new laws and procedures that govern California landlords.  Even without a specific bed bug statute in Nevada that apply to landlords, a landlord may be sued for a number of causes of action for failure to remedy a known or suspected bed bug infestation (i.e. constructive eviction, breach of warranty of habitability, breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment, nuisance, among others).  Therefore, it may be less expensive in the end for a landlord to routinely order pest inspections of rental properties to avoid the risk of litigation that could stem from bed bug or other infestation of rentals properties.

Do you hire employees or independent contractors? The answer is probably both.

  • February 1, 2016
Employee-vs.-Independent-Contractor

Do you hire an employees or independent contractors?

Employers routinely consider a number of factors in whether to hire an employee or an independent contractor as their business grows. It is important for businesses to be able to explain why the “independent contractor” the company just hired is actually an “employee” under the law or vice versa. SB 224, recently passed by the Nevada legislature and signed by Governor Sandoval went into effect on June 2, 2015. This law provides much more clear guidance on what qualifies for “independent contractor” status and what doesn’t. SB 224 creates a conclusive presumption that an individual is an independent contractor for Nevada wage and hour claims if certain conditions are met.

This is yet another list of “factors” that business owners and their respective counsel must become familiar. Of potentially greater importance will be determining which law will apply and when. There is a different test in determining the employment classification of a person in each of the follow circumstances: (1) wage and hour claims under Nevada law; (2) wage and hour claims under federal law; (3) workers compensation claims; (4) and unemployment claims. It is entirely possible that under the wage and hour law in Nevada an individual could be considered an independent contractor, but if terminated, the individual could file for unemployment and be classified as an employee.

While some of the factors in each test overlap, using all the factors in each test will, in many cases, result in different classifications for the same individual.  It is now more important than ever to consult your legal counsel to protect your business so that you can properly structure job descriptions for your employees and/or independent contractors to benefit your business as well as plan for the changes in classification that may occur in the event of injury (worker’s compensation claims) or termination (unemployment claims).

If you need more information or have any questions regarding how the new law may affect your business, do not hesitate to contact Incline Law Group, LLP for some clarity on the subject.

Preliminary Injunction to Halt Implementation of Nevada’s Private School Voucher Program

  • January 15, 2016

Editorial Note: For background information on SB302, a statewide private school voucher program and the recent lawsuits that brought about this injunction, click here.

It is now widely reported that on January 11, 2016, Nevada, District Judge Jamesschool_vouchers_INJUNCTION Wilson, Jr., issued an order granting a preliminary injunction halting the implementation of Nevada’s private school voucher/ESA program.

A copy of Judge Wilson’s can be read here and the following text is a key part of the order:

Plaintiff Parents have clearly shown that SB 302 violates Article 11, Sections 6.1 and 6.2.

Plaintiff Parents argued SB 302, Section 16(1) violates Article 11, Sections 6.1 and 6.2 because general funds appropriated to fund the operation of the public schools must only be used to fund the operation of the public schools, but under SB 302 some amount of general funds appropriated to fund the operation of the public schools will be diverted to fund education saving accounts.

Under SB 302 general fund money appropriated to fund the operation of the public schools will be used to fund education savings accounts. The legislature recognized that general fund money appropriated to fund the operation of public schools would be used to fund education savings accounts. This is evidenced by the legislature’s amendment of NRS 387.045 which provides:

  1. No portion of the public school funds or of the money specially appropriated for the purpose of public schools shall be devoted to any other object or purpose.
  1. No portion of the public school funds shall in any way be segregated, divided or set apart for the use or benefit of any sectarian or secular society or association.

The legislature amended that statute to make an exception so funds appropriated for public schools can be used to pay the education savings account grants established by SB 302.

Sections 6.1 and 6.2 require the legislature to support public schools by direct legislative appropriation from the general fund before any other appropriation is enacted. Those sections do not expressly say that the general funds appropriated to fund the operation of the public schools must only be used to fund the operation of the public schools. Sections 6.1 and 6.2 do however necessarily imply that the legislature must use the general funds appropriated to fund the operation of the public schools only to fund the operation of the public schools.

Sections 6.1 and 6.2 mandate that the legislature make appropriations to fund the operation of the public schools. An “appropriation” is “the act of appropriating to … a particular use;” or “something that has been appropriated; specif: a sum of money set aside or allotted by official or formal action for a specific use (as from public revenue by a legislative body that stipulates the amount, manner, and purpose of items of expenditure) …. “‘To “appropriate” means “to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use in exclusion of all others.”‘ Therefore, Sections 6.1 and 6.2 require the legislature to set apart or assign money to be used to fund the operation of the public schools, to the exclusion of all other purposes. Because some amount of general funds appropriated to fund the operation of the public schools will be diverted to fund education saving accounts under SB 302, that statute violates Sections 6.1 and 6.2 of Article 11.

Plaintiff Parents have met their burden of clearly proving that there is no set of circumstances under which the statute would be valid, and therefore Plaintiff Parents have shown a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits on the Article 11, Sections 6.1 and 6.2 issue.

[emphasis added.]

 

 

Mortgage Debt Relief Act Extended Through 2016….Finally

  • January 11, 2016

Buried deep in the Tax Extenders provisions of the 2016 Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2029) quietly passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 18, 2015, was a very unpublicized extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness and Debt Relief Act of 2007.  In fact, the reference to this extension of this very relevant Act was so deeply buried, that I am indebted to a very generous Regional Rep of Senator Dean Heller for providing me with a map to find the needle in the haystack (see pages 824-825 of 887!).Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extended

This extension is of great importance for homeowners who are still suffering under the weight of underwater homes.  As I have discussed in numerous articles and blog postings, the Mortgage Forgiveness and Debt Relief Act of 2007 provides a tax exemption for homeowners for “income” resulting from debt forgiveness related to foreclosures, short sales and principal forgiveness of loans.

When a Lender “forgives” debt, e.g. it waives pursuing a deficiency in a short sale or elects not to sue for deficiency after a foreclosure sale, the debt that is forgiven is, in most circumstances considered by the IRS to be ordinary income and taxable as such.  Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 taxpayers can generally exclude income resulting from the discharge of debt on their principal residence.  For more information click here (please note that the IRS has not yet updated its website to reflect the extension of the Act through January 1, 2017).

This latest extension will continue this tax protection for homeowners through the 2016 tax year.  This means that if you relinquished your home in a foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu, or had a loan modification resulting in debt forgiveness in 2015, or if one of these unfortunate events happens to you in 2016, you may be able to take advantage of this latest extension of the Act.

Please note that before making the decision to relinquish your home and incur taxable debt forgiveness, it is highly advisable that you speak with a tax professional.  As with most IRS rules, there are exceptions and restrictions that could be a “gotcha” for an unsuspecting homeowner.  But if you do in fact qualify, this is fantastic news for underwater homeowners!

If you have questions about an underwater mortgage, loan modification, foreclosures or short sales, Incline Law Group LLP can provide you with options and information to help you make informed decisions.

New Probate Laws in Effect as of October 1, 2015

  • October 1, 2015

The Nevada Legislature has enacted new laws to streamline the probate process for small estates beginning October 1, 2015. These new probate laws will allow executors and administrators of qualifying estates to expedite the probate process and cut down on costs to the estate. probate (1)

Previously, NRS 146.080 allowed a claimant to avoid probate if the estate did not include real property and the value of the estate was less than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) by preparing an affidavit in lieu of filing a petition with the probate court. AB 130 amended NRS 146.080 to increase the affidavit limit to twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) for all claimants except the surviving spouse. If the claimant is the surviving spouse, the affidavit limit increased to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00). Additionally, motor vehicles no longer have to be included in the calculation of the size of the estate. This new law will help decrease the costs of administering an estate for those Nevadans that qualify because they will no longer be required file a petition with the court saving attorney’s fees and costs.

The Nevada Legislature also amended NRS 145.040 by increasing the limit for Summary Administration from $200,000 to $300,000. Summary Administration allows for shorter notice periods to creditors and an expedited probate process. Now that expedited process will be available for those estates under $300,000.

These are just some of the changes to probate and estate law made by the Nevada Legislature that went into effect on October 1, 2015. If you have questions or are confused about any of the new probate laws, do not hesitate to contact Incline Law Group to help provide you with legal clarity.

Pre-Notice of Default Foreclosure Mediation

Pre-Notice of Default Foreclosure Mediation

  • August 11, 2015

SB 512 was approved by the 2015 Nevada Legislature and went into effect upon signature by the Governor on June 10, 2015. This new law allows homeowners with a documented financial hardship who are in imminent risk of mortgage default, to  participate in foreclosure mediation prior to a lender’s issuance of a Notice of Default. Prior to this law, foreclosure mediation was only available to homeowner’s after a lender recorded a Notice of Default.

The new Nevada state law allows a homeowner to participate in mediation prior to the issuance of a Notice of Default if you have met the following requirements:

  • You have received a referral from a HUD-approved housing counselor.
  • You do not have an open bankruptcy filed on or after July 1, 2009.
  • You have been discharged from Bankruptcy or the court has ordered you into the FMP.
  • This property is your primary owner-occupied residential property (not a vacation, rental or other property where the homeowner does not live).

In order for a homeowner to be eligible for Pre-Notice of Default Mediation, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency must determine that a financial hardship exits that prevents the homeowner, or the person who holds the title of record, from being able to make a mortgage payment within the next 90 days. A list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies can be found on the Nevada Supreme Court Foreclosure Mediation Program Website.

Two forms are required to participate in Pre-NOD Mediation: 1) a HUD-approved counseling agency referral form and 2) a foreclosure mediation enrollment form, both of which can also be found on the Foreclosure Mediation Program website.  As with all enrollments to the program, the homeowner must also submit to the Foreclosure Mediation Program a mediation fee of $200.

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

Continue reading

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.

 

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.