Published Monday, June 8, 2009 | 1 a.m.
Updated Monday, June 8, 2009 | 1:58 p.m.
A Las Vegas economic forecaster says the Legislature's decision to hike taxes by $1 billion was a good one and likely will provide some stimulus to the struggling Nevada economy.
"Some will say, 'Taxes are never good during a recession,'" John Restrepo's Restrepo Consulting Group says in the May edition of its Economic INsight report. "However, the nature of the current recession does not make it possible to cut our way to prosperity. The impact of double-digit cuts to health care, education and social assistance would be too severe to the quality of life of our community.
"The consensus among a number of prominent economists around the country, combined with the historical record, is that well thought-out tax increases during a recession are less harmful to the economy than severe tax cuts alone. The fact is that government spending can help mitigate the impacts on those individuals and families hurt by the recession, such as health coverage, housing assistance and gaining entry to college.
"Additionally, what is often ignored by the opponents of tax increases is that government, through its spending and that of its employees, provides much-needed economic activity to those businesses selling products and services to government, and by the purchases of public employees in the local economy. And, remember, this activity 'multiplies' through economy. While there is credible research that indicates that private spending generates a higher multiplier than government spending, the point is that there is very little private spending occurring today, because of the nature of this recession. So, essentially, what might be considered a small multiplier, as indicated by the research, say 50 cents for each $1 of government spending, is better than nothing."
Restrepo, in the report, also reiterates his opinion that a sustained economic recovery in Southern Nevada isn't likely until sometime in 2011.
The Las Vegas area, he noted, now faces high unemployment (10.4 percent), soaring commercial real estate foreclosures, a lack of commercial lending by banks and home prices that continue to fall. What's needed in housing, he says, are more purchasers by homeowners as opposed to speculators and investors.
The Southern Nevada chapter of SIOR -- the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors -- is having its monthly luncheon at noon Wednesday at Maggiano's Little Italy at the Fashion Show Mall. The speaker is Doug Roberts.
For more information, visit their Web site.
Several businesses have stepped up to support the 40th annual conference of the National Association of Minority Contractors June 17-20 in Las Vegas.
The event, hosted by the Mirage hotel-casino, includes workshops on topics such as green building opportunities, financial survival strategies for the recession and construction safety. There's also a golf tournament, an exhibition fair and an awards banquet with speaker Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.
Key sponsors of the event are Wells Fargo Bank, Southwest Gas Corp., Harrah's Entertainment Inc. and MGM Mirage.
Companies participating in the exhibition fair include Cash America/Super Pawn, Gilbane Inc., Harrah's, JPL Engineering, Kaiser Permanente, Kraus Anderson Construction Co., the Las Vegas Valley Water District, M.A. Mortenson Co., Martin-Harris Construction, NV Energy, Paychex, Perini Building Co., Shaw-Lundquist Associates, Southwest Gas, Target Corp., Tiffiny Decorating, Thor Construction and Wells Fargo.
For more information, see www.namc40th.org.
The Nevada Fight Fraud Taskforce is hosting a series of evening fraud education seminars at libraries throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
The statewide taskforce includes members from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies, the IRS, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Better Business Bureau, the Nevada Department of Business & Industry, the Nevada Division of Mortgage Lending, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Service and experts from the private sector.
"It’s vital to bring this message directly to consumers," said Elisabeth Shurtleff, chairwoman of the Fight Fraud Taskforce and an official with the Department of Business & Industry. "Education is the key to preventing fraud before it starts, and it always helps to deliver important information face-to-face where questions can be asked on the spot."
The seminars are open forums for communication and information sharing. The goal is to educate consumers about fraud and how to protect themselves and their families. Topics include:
The Fight Fraud Taskforce says it also ensures that the latest fraud information is available on the Fight Fraud Web site. Consumers are encouraged to visit the site, which includes extensive tips on how to prevent fraud and provides downloadable complaint forms to help people respond effectively if they are victimized.
The first seminar is Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Sunrise Library, 5400 Harris Ave., near Bonanza Road and Nellis Boulevard.
Southwest Medical Associates is showcasing its newest location, a 49,000-square-foot clinic in the Centennial Hills area at 7061 Grand Montecito Way near Durango Drive and U.S. 95 in Las Vegas.
Southwest Medical said the new clinic offers the first urgent care treatment facility in the area, as well as adult medicine, radiology, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology services. Quest Diagnostics, which provides laboratory testing services, is also on-site.
The clinic has:
--Electronic check-in for appointments
--All-digital radiology diagnostics
--Electronic medical records
--Color-coded specialty areas
--An energy-efficient design
Southwest Medical Associates, part of health care giant UnitedHealthcare, said it is Nevada’s largest multi-specialty medical group with more than 250 physicians and 15 clinics, including an out-patient surgical center. SMA provides medical care to Health Plan of Nevada, Senior Dimensions and other UnitedHealthcare plan participants.
Converse Consultants is supporting the YMCA of Southern Nevada's Strong Kids Campaign.
A $500 donation from Converse Consultants, a geotechnical engineering firm, helped a team of kids build skills and values through participation in Y youth sports.
Colliers International – Las Vegas is holding its first quarterly roundtable event on July 1 at the Four Seasons Hotel. The event, which will include guest speakers from the Sullivan Group and Colliers, will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast, followed by a panel of speakers at 8 a.m., and closing with an open discussion about the market. Topics include the current economy, Colliers’ Las Vegas market overviews and potential for growth and expansion moving forward.
"During this tough economy, we need to come together to ensure the information being distributed [about our market] is the most current and accurate available," Michael Campbell, managing partner of Colliers’ Las Vegas office, said in a statement. "The best way for this to happen is to have an open discussion among our city officials, financial industry professionals and the community."
Mobile Shoe Pro owner Marty Weinberg says business is booming for his new company offering shoe services and that in two months he has signed 150 new clients, including the Nevada Development Authority and Bank of America.
Mobile Shoe Pro said it provides free pick-up and delivery from any business. Services include shoe shines; handbag repair and cleaning; and alterations and cleaning to leather and suede items.
Breslin Builders completed work on the Rare 120 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The tenant improvement is a high-end steakhouse restaurant of 4,233-square feet consisting of exotic wood and stainless steel finishes.
The Faith Lutheran Jr/Sr High School 2009 Crusader Cup Golf Classic was set for today at the Silverstone Golf Club.
The cost is $275 per person or $1,100 per foursome, and includes golf and cart fees, breakfast, tee gifts and awards luncheon. Registration is at 6:30 a.m. and a shotgun scramble will start at 7:30 a.m.
Funds raised by the golfers and corporate sponsors will be used for athletic and facility improvements to support Faith Lutheran’s move to Division 4A athletic competition.
Faith Lutheran athletes will advance to the more competitive Division 4A when the 2009/2010 academic year opens.