Tech Companies Could Form Their Own Governments Under a New Nevada Proposal
Nevada aims to bring innovative entrepreneurs to the state without forcing the public to foot the bill. An unusual proposal from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak may help attract to his state some tech companies fleeing from Silicon Valley—while also making Nevada a positive model for experimental government.
Sisolak wants to allow “innovative technology” companies to run their own “alternative form of local government,” operating schools and courts, imposing taxes, and doing other things expected of and allowed by municipal and county authorities.
Under Sisolak’s draft plan, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development will consider “Innovation Zone” proposals from tech companies that own at least 50,000 acres of undeveloped land in an area of the state that doesn’t already belong to a city or town. If chosen, a company must invest at least $250 million into the area upfront plus another $1 billion over the next ten years.
The new tech-backed towns and cities would initially be governed by existing authorities in the county they’re located in, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which first reported on the plan. But the goal is for the new innovation zones to be run by a three-member board of supervisors and other mechanisms of an independent local government.
“During his speech last month, Sisolak specifically named Blockchains, LLC as a company that had committed to developing a ‘smart city’ in the area east of Reno that would run entirely on blockchain technology, once the legislation passes,” the Review-Journal reports.
Sisolak said his goal was to attract new and innovative tech businesses without the usual offering of all sorts of publicly-funded perks and special tax abatements.
The current model for local governance in Nevada is “inadequate alone to provide the flexibility and resources conducive to making the State a leader in attr
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