weather icon Clear

Nye County proposes brothel fee increase

Nye County proposes to amend the prostitution ordinance by increasing various fees for the county’s brothels.

A business impact statement was prepared by Nye County to address the proposed amendment to Nye County Code that would make changes to the prostitution ordinance for Nye County.

Various changes to the ordinance can be considered as adverse effects, according to the documents. Among them are an increase from $5,000 to $7,000 in the application fee used for background checks; the increase in the quarterly license fee to $5,000 each calendar quarter and $10,000 a quarter. The quarterly registration fee for brothel workers would increase from $125 to $150. In addition, $150 would be charged annually for all other employees.

Attorney Mark Connot, who represented Sheri’s Ranch Brothel owned by Dennis Hof, said the proposal would increase not only the license fees but also other costs for brothels. He said each business would have to pay “hundreds of thousands per year with nothing to evidence whether or not that’s even necessary.”

“It’s a solution in search of a problem,” Connot said.

Nye County’s revenues from licenses and work cards for the fiscal year 2015-2016 were $155,000, according to the county’s records. The county anticipates a $25,000 increase in revenue per quarter based on five active brothel licenses. The county also anticipates a $3,500 increase per quarter based on the 140 active work cards.

According to the documents, the money generated by the new fees or increase in existing fees will be used by the local government to conduct background checks and investigations. The increased fees will also provide for standard cost increases experienced by the county on an annual basis.

The county’s estimates show that it would cost the county $77,000 to fund a full-time detective to carry out investigative services.

County reaction

Commissioner Butch Borasky said the county hasn’t raised brothel fees in over 20 years.

“You guys have a special one-of-a-kind license in this state and if you think you are being hammered that hard, I’ll be glad to sit down with you and go through line by line whatever part of that fee increases will put you out of business,” he told Connot.

Arnold Knightly, Nye County’s spokesman, said the proposed changes to the county code regulating the brothel industry in Nye County are long overdue.

“These changes will update industry fees for the first time in nearly two decades, better define signage restrictions, and provide the sheriff’s office a better framework to inspect establishments on a regular schedule and enforce the county codes more efficiently,” Knightly said.

Connot said the county’s business impact statement doesn’t mention the audited financial statements on a yearly basis and the estimated cost of $85,000 per year.

“You are talking about putting the brothel industry out of business by these fees,” Connot said.

Nye County Manager Pam Webster said that officials considered the input from the businesses and the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and other parties in the preparation of the document.

The public hearing on the proposed change is scheduled for June 6.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Las Vegas sports face coronavirus-related economic damage

The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted substantial financial damage on the Las Vegas sports scene. Fans may need patience before a full recovery takes place.

UNLV looking to raise $1.5M to recoup COVID-19 revenue losses

UNLV is looking for donations to help keep momentum going in its athletics department amid financial stress created by the coronavirus pandemic.

NFL countdown: Raiders add speed to offense

The Raiders took the fastest receiver in the NFL draft in Alabama’s Henry Ruggs, and all the pieces are in place for quarterback Derek Carr to have a career year.

IRS says non-filers with dependents must act by May 5

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday, April 24 issued a special alert for Supplemental Security Income and Department of Veterans Affairs beneficiaries to act by May 5 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have dependents so they can quickly receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payment.

Gov. Sisolak eases restrictions on some Nevada businesses

Beginning Friday, May 1, Nevadans will again be able to play golf, patronize all retail businesses and undergo medical procedures unrelated to the COVID-19 outbreak as Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that, while he is extending his Stay at Home order through May 15, some of the restrictions of his previous order that expires Friday, May 1 will be relaxed.

DETR announces successful update of unemployment site

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced Monday a successful weekend update of its unemployment insurance website at ui.nv.gov. The agency also added and launched a performance feature on April 18 that affords filers another option to reset their online password 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Federal government approves disaster aid for state

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Monday that his request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Nevada in response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Pahrump GriefShare going to online meetings in face of Coronavirus

With the novel coronavirus pandemic spreading all across the globe, the world is in a state of continual flux and change but one thing that does not change is the harsh reality that people pass away and those left behind must deal with the pain of losing a loved one.