Assurances given lawmakers about offices’ locations
didn’t mention a $17-million Tahoe private mansion
The Nevada office of Advantage Capital Partners, whose lobbyist assured state lawmakers the office would serve, and be placed within, local low-income communities.
Can the ritzy North Shore of Lake Tahoe, along Lakeshore Boulevard, somehow qualify as a “low-income community” under Nevada and federal law?
The question arises when comparing the remarks of a lobbyist for the “New Markets Job Act,” approved by Nevada lawmakers and Gov. Brian Sandoval, with state records filed by the lobbyist’s employer.
Advantage Capital Partners Director Ryan Brennan had been asked by a senate committee chairman how ACP would invest the tax credits it would receive under SB 357, touted as the “New Markets Job Act.”
“Our business model,” testified Brennan, “has been to open an office and immediately staff it with full-time lenders in the communities in which we want to invest.”
However the communities in which ACP was seeking toinvest, under SB 357, are federally designated “low-income communities.”
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Tax-credit scheme passed by Nevada lawmakers has history of soaking taxpayers
Ryan Brennan of Advantage Capital Partners made the news in 2013 for citing nonexistent Florida and Missouri state audits to convince Nevada legislators to pass a bill that meant millions for his employer.
Auditors in the two states he cited — shown videotapes of Brennan’s testimony — were very clear that no such audits existed or had ever been done.
Confronted with that information by Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Ed Vogel, both Brennan and State Sen. Michael Roberson, sponsor of the bill in question, attempted to argue that no qualitative difference exists between the findings of genuine state audits and the views of consultants in the pay of firms lobbying hard for passage of “New Markets Tax Credit” or NMTC laws.
According to Vogel’s article, Roberson contended that “in the broad sense a state audit can be any type of an evaluation process performed in a state.”
Brennan, for his part, continued to maintain that the State of Nevada could increase tax revenue by foregoing insurance-premium tax revenue through tax credits allocated to firms like his.
The lobbyist, wrote Vogel, “released reports from Missouri and Florida that said revenue generated by the tax credits programs far exceeded the cost of the credits.”
Once again, however, the “released reports from Missouri” can neither be found nor their existence verified. (Regarding the Florida report, see below.)
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Congressional candidate led Silver State legislature into financial ditch
They descended on Nevada legislators in 2013, promising new jobs in the state’s depressed areas and higher tax revenue for state government.
All lawmakers had to do, they said, was approve legislation that would allow certain private firms designated as “qualified community development entities,” or CDEs, to take control of $119 million in Nevada state tax credits.
“They” included the head national lobbyist for one of the nation’s biggest firms targeting the government-subsidized investment industry, Advantage Capital Partners, and the legislation’s sponsor, State Senate Republican Minority Leader Michael C. Roberson.
Roberson is currently a candidate for the GOP primary nomination for Nevada's Third Congressional District.
Also working Legislative halls in behalf of the complex financial legislation — Senate Bill 357 — were 11 hired lobbyists from the state’s extremely well-connected and powerful political “juice” and public-relations firm, R&R Partners.
No one testified against the bill.
Nor does the legislative record indicate that any of the Legislature’s financially unsophisticated citizen-lawmakers offered any more due diligence than to ask a few innocuous questions of Advantage Capital’s chief lobbyist, Managing Director Ryan Brennan.
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