Growing Nevada

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For much of its history Nevada has depended on a few primary industries, which affect the level of state revenues, labor market opportunities, and education needs. Going forward, the potential exists for Nevada to be a leader in new industries such as unmanned aerial systems, health sciences, logistics and operations, information technology, and energy while also expanding the state’s employment, household income, and revenues base. Encouraging the growth of these industries requires an educated, skilled population.

The Guinn Center analyzes and informs decisions that affect economic growth and economic opportunity for Nevadans and which build toward a sustainable future. The Guinn Center examines current policies and options to improve the state’s economic base, offers balanced approaches to providing revenues, identifies short- and long-term strategies and trade-offs, and addresses related issues that play a role in supporting thriving communities.


Areas of research include:


  • Defining Nevada’s next economy: quality jobs, workforce, and skill requirements
  • Job creation and workforce development
  • The intersection of public finance, regulation, and quality jobs
  • Science, technology, policy
  • Business environment and regulatory regime

Policy Reports

Federal Revenue Streams in Nevada: A Data Snapshot

Nevada’s 2017-2019 biennium budget amounts to approximately $26.2 billion. Federal funds account for more than one-third  (34.3 percent) of all revenues in the biennium budget. Federal revenues also flow into Nevada’s non-profits and local and county governments. This policy brief summarizes federal revenue streams in Nevada in recent years. (March 2018)

Property Taxes in Nevada: An Overview

The Guinn Center, in conjunction with researchers from the Department of Economics in the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business, has published a policy report that provides an overview of property taxes in Nevada. This report addresses a set of questions that highlight the structural dimensions of the Silver State’s property tax system, examine statewide variation, and analyze possibilities for reform.


Property Taxes Executive Overview

Infographics (in English and Spanish) on Nevada’s property taxes can be found here.

Nevada Budget Overview 2017-2019

This policy brief explains Nevada’s budget process—such as the role of the Economic Forum—and provides both a broad-based overview of budgetary sources and spending and a detailed account of revenues and proposed expenditures. It closes with a discussion of some of the uncertainties confronting the State Legislature as they make budgetary decisions, particularly the status of the Medicaid expansion and that of marijuana legalization.

Infographics (in English and Spanish) on Nevada’s budget can be found here.

Development Incentives Revisited

In December 2015, Governor Sandoval called a special session to consider a development incentive package for Faraday Future, which has decided to locate in North Las Vegas. The goal of this policy brief is to (1) identify best practices for crafting development incentive programs, and (2) offer a set of recommendations
for improving Nevada’s return on investment (ROI) on the proposed Faraday Future incentive package.

Executive Summary

Development Incentives: A Guide for Nevada Legislators

As the Nevada Legislature considers a $1.3 billion incentive package for Tesla Motors, the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities recommends that legislators consider best practices learned in other states that emphasize transparency, accountability, performance, local hiring, and job training. The Guinn Center also examines the impact of the proposal on local governments and the ability to provide expanded public services. (September 2014)

Executive Summary             Full Report