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December 17, 2014

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Governor signs bills to close power plant, renovate UNLV arena

Image

Sam Morris

The front exterior of the Thomas & Mack Center Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

Reid-Gardner Generating Plant

Reid Gardner Station, a coal fired power plant in Moapa, is shown on Friday, Dec. 7, 2007. Sierra Pacific was fined a million dollars and required to install $85 million worth of new pollution control technology at the plant. Launch slideshow »

Thomas & Mack Center

A view of the concourse at the Thomas & Mack Center Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Launch slideshow »

CARSON CITY — NV Energy must start shutting down its coal-fired Reid Gardner power plant, and the state is going to issue tax credits to filmmakers who come to Nevada, under bills signed Tuesday by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The governor signed 45 bills Tuesday, including one to change the system of taxing mines if the voters in 2014 remove an existing constitutional limit of 5 percent on net proceeds.

If approved, the bill would place an excise tax upon mineral extraction and royalties. Supporters said the bill would not raise the tax on mines, but it would open the door to future tax increases.

Under another bill, NV Energy, would be required to shut down the Reid Gardner plant by Dec. 31, 2019. It would be allowed to build renewable energy and other facilities to replace the plant, which critics complain creates pollution.

Meanwhile, under Senate Bill 165, those who makes movies, television programs or other films in Nevada would be entitled to a tax credit. The pilot program will be in effect until December 2017, and to qualify for the credit, at least 60 percent of the cost of making the film must be spent in Nevada.

The governor also signed Assembly Bill 501, which allows the Nevada System of Higher Education to issue $85 million in bonds for construction projects. Included in the measure is $57.7 million to renovate the 30-year-old Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV.

The Thomas & Mack will remain open during the 24- to 30-month renovation.

At the same time, Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 335 to create an 11-member board to study the feasibility and financing of a large events center on the UNLV campus. Backers said the proposed events center would tie in with the Thomas and Mack.

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