I spent several years auditing the State of Nevada. During this time I came across several areas the State of Nevada’s financials could be improved. Kim Wallin has implemented several nonpartisan changes, including preparing more reports and posting the reports online for public viewing. She is termed out and I am the best candidate to replace her. I am a tax attorney, certified public accountant and a university accounting professor. I own a business in Nevada and care deeply about making sure Nevada has a small, smart, flexible government able to handle the needs of Nevadans.
2. Give a brief summation of your professional and political background.
I started my professional career working for a certified public accounting firm in Reno auditing tribal casinos around the United States. Next, I worked for another Reno CPA firm auditing the State of Nevada, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and the Washoe County School District.
I moved from Reno to Las Vegas for law school, receiving a Juris Doctorate from UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. During this time I established the CPA firm Arlint CPA. Despite the odds and recession, the company has grown remarkably serving hundreds of clients in Nevada and all over the world. Through hard work, I have established a reputation for accounting excellence and was recently ranked one of the top 10 CPAs in Nevada.
After successfully starting the CPA firm I joined Derek Armstrong Esq. to form the law firm Arlint & Armstrong. The law firm practices in the areas of tax, estate planning and business law. As a tax attorney I represent taxpayers’ rights against the Internal Revenue Service in the US Tax Court.
3. Define your political philosophy.
I am a young republican. I believe in the government being fiscally responsible and limited as much as possible. I believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, age, sex, or national origin.
4. How much do you project this campaign will cost? Do you anticipate using your own money to help finance it? If so, to what degree?
Right now I am focused on the primary. I am planning on campaign financing of $10,000, mostly coming from my own funding. After the primary I have several donors willing to contribute substantially more.
5. What makes you more qualified than your Primary opponents to serve as Controller?
I am a practicing tax attorney, certified public accountant and university accounting professor. I am a Nevada small business owner managing both a certified public accounting firm and a tax law firm. I have experience auditing governments and specifically audited the State of Nevada. I have a Masters of Business Administration from UNR and a Juris Doctorate from UNLV Law. Also, in 2010 I published a book on Sarbanes Oxley.
6. Define your understanding of the duties/responsibilities required of the Controller.
The State Controller is one of the six Constitutional Officers of the State and is elected to a four year term. The authority of the Controller is set by the Nevada State Constitution Article 5, Section 19 and Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 227. The Controller is the Chief Fiscal Officer (CFO) of the state and is responsible for administering the state’s accounting system, settling all claims against the state and collecting debts owed to the state. The Controller processes and records the state’s financial transactions, conducts the final audit and ensures compliance with our constitution, federal laws and state statutes. The Controller also provides the citizens, state agencies, local governments and legislators with accurate and impartial financial information.
7. What do you see as the most pressing issues facing the State as related to the Controller’s office? How do you propose to resolve them?
New accounting regulations are going to change the way Nevada reports its pension liability for PERS. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board, which sets the accounting standards for the public sector, finalized a single system of accounting to replace the menu of financial reporting options public pension funds currently use. State and local governments will have to post their net pension liability – the difference between the projected benefit payments and the assets set aside to cover those payments – up front on financial statements, under the changes.
Also GASB changed how the pension funds project rates of return on their investments, which provide 60 percent of their revenue. Nevada currently estimates their rate of return at 8%. This number will most likely have to be revised down, increasing the estimated unfunded liability. These accounting changes will have dramatic effects on the contribution rates for Nevada PERS employees.
Nevada needs a Controller who is an expert at both government accounting and financial reporting. With billions of dollars at stake and PERS retirements on the line you don’t want the reporting to be wrong. As a certified accountant and university accounting professor I am the best candidate to tackle the complex accounting regulations required by the State’s financials.
8. Nevada receives Federal Stimulus money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARRA). Do you feel this money is being properly accounted for and efficiently used?
The effects of AARRA can be endlessly debated, however, as a general rule I don’t think the government should be interfering in the free-market of Nevada. Government spending almost always leads to pet projects and waste.
9. There have been calls in the past to eliminate the state Controller position, merging it into the state Treasurer’s office. Do you support such a merger? Please explain why or why not?
The state controller position is very important. They communicate the financial transactions and financial position of the state. It is very crucial the controller is not only an expert in accounting but also in financial reporting and auditing. A qualified, trained, experienced professional should be responsible for the state’s financials. Whether that person should be appointed or elected is tough to answer. It’s not a very political position and the position should be filled by a professional not a politician. I could go either way on this one.
10. As Controller, would you support posting the state’s “checkbook” online on a public website, allowing taxpayers to see every expenditure?
I am all for government transparency and accountability. The more Nevadans know about how their money is being spent the better, because it leads to more government accountability.
11. If there is an issue you are concerned about that has not already been addressed, this is your spot to address it:
We are at the crossroads of a changing world. Nevada no longer competes with other states for workers and businesses. We are part of a global market. A crippled construction industry and outsourced jobs have changed the Nevada business landscape. Now more than ever we need a state government that is proactive, responsible and ready to tackle the new challenges facing Nevada.
Innovation, determination and leadership, that’s the future of Nevada. Join me on the journey to a successful, thriving Nevada. I love Nevada, from beautiful Lake Tahoe to the resource rich mines of Elko to the world class resort city of Las Vegas. It’s up to us. Stand together battle born, WE ARE NEVADA.
These interviews are posted on Nevada News & Views and NewsDesk by Nancy Dallas (www.ndbynd.com). Reposting of any interview by interested parties must include the disclaimer the interview was originally posted in the above publications. Questions or comments may be directed to Nancy Dallas at email@example.com or 775-847-0129.