This is the final blog post regarding the 2015 Nevada legislative session.

Procedural and Administrative Changes and Clarifications

AB40

A key administrative change effected by AB40 is to change the name of the “State Gaming Control Board” to the “Nevada Gaming Control Board.”

This bill also serves to clarify that certain actions and proceedings of the Board are not subject to certain provisions of the Nevada Open Meeting Law (“OML”). Specifically, the OML requires all deliberation, actions, and discussions of a public body to take place in a public setting. This bill grants a limited exemption to the Board from the open meeting law related to the Board’s investigative activities while inquiring as to whether a violation has occurred and, if so, what actions should be taken in determining if those violations have occurred. The OML still applies to the Board’s procedures, including monthly meetings.

Updates to Nevada’s Live Entertainment Tax (NRS Chapter 368A)

SB266

Under existing law, the rate and imposition of the tax depended upon the size of the facility in which the live entertainment is provided, with the break being 7,500 persons or fewer. Those facilities were to charge the patron a 10% tax on admission, food and merchandise. The old law provided a reduced tax rate for facilities above 7,500 persons, where the rate was reduced to 5%. The new tax rate will be a uniform 9% of the admission charge to a facility where live entertainment is provided, however, the tax is not imposed on amounts paid for food, refreshments or merchandise. The value of certain admission provided to a patron on a complimentary basis is excluded from the tax.

Additionally, under the new law, there is no distinction in the size of the facility or whether live entertainment was provided by licensed vs. non-licensed entities. The prior exclusion for events that were provided outdoors was eliminated. All live entertainment events are taxed uniformly (with certain exemptions for charitable activities where fewer than 7,500 tickets are sold), however, NASCAR would be exempt if they give Nevada a second race weekend and professional sports would be exempt if one of the teams playing in the contest is domiciled in Nevada. Combat sports are exempt from the live entertainment tax but are subject to the levies imposed by other sections of the law that have oversight by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Finally, collegiate sports involving Nevada’s schools are exempt, with the exemption of the Silver bowl, which would not be exempted.

The effective date of the law was July 1, 2015, which would be applicable to events that were previously subject to the old law; however, if not previously taxed under the old law, the effective date would be October 1, 2015. For example, the National Finals Rodeo would be covered under the new law, but prepaid tickets sold prior to October 1, 2015, would be exempt.

Amendments to Other Areas of Privileged Licensing

SB22

This bill moves the local licensing and regulatory power over certain persons and businesses, including importers of liquor, wholesale dealers of beer or wines and liquors, winemakers, instructional winemaking facilities, breweries, brew pubs and craft distilleries, from the board of county commissioners of the county in which the applicant maintains his or her principal place of business to the governing body of the city in which the business is located, if the applicant’s principal place of business is located within an incorporated city.