An issue with unpaid taxes in Washoe County has now been resolved, as the county has decided to not hold casinos and gambling venues of Reno responsible for $4.8 million due to under collection of taxes. On Tuesday of this week, the Commission of Washoe County decided to vote unanimously to not seek back taxes from the casinos of their jurisdiction.
It was discovered back in the beginning February by Grant Thornton LLP, an accounting and auditing firm, that under-billing took place at casinos in the county, going back as far as the fiscal year of 2008-2009. A time period of seven years was discoverd to have been calculated wrong and taxes under-collected from casinos and gaming venues in the county. The Washoe Board of County Commissioners was contacted after the discovery, with Christopher Hicks, the Washoe District Attorney, ruling that the county had legal rights to bill the casinos and then collect the $4.8 million that was not paid.
However, this week, leaders of the county decided to take responsibility concerning the lost taxes and not ask the venues to pay for their mistakes. Mark Mathers, the Washoe County Budget Manager, stated that it was believed that any attempt to collect the taxes would be met with a legal challenge, with collections of the missed taxes delayed for some time. For the county to try and collect the millions in revenues from owners of the businesses who paid already based on what amounts their past bills showed and who have made financial decisions since then, raises questions as well as concerns, including how the casinos would be affected now.
Of the total amount lost, $4,833,930, Washoe County would have collected $3,221,467 and the remaining money would go toward the local departments of the government, some $1.6 million. Reno would have earned $743,265 with Sparks earning $367,425. Fire departments in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee Meadows will receive $346,960.