I-Team: State, Lincoln County in showdown over Area 51 money

LAS VEGAS -- A dispute over the amount of taxes being paid by contractors at the super-sensitive Area 51 military base has sparked a legal showdown between the state of Nevada and the county that is home to Area 51.

Last week, the I-Team reported about a contentious special meeting of the Nevada Tax Commission.

Commissioners wanted to know about $1.8 million that will be paid by the Air Force to Lincoln County to make up for payments that were too low over the last several years. Lincoln County says the money should not count as a tax payment.

Leaders from the impoverished county also defended their arrangement to pay 25 percent of the money -- hundreds of thousands of dollars -- to a private consultant, rather than put the money into its school or hospital fund.

The point man for the commission, tax attorney George Kelesis, called for subpoenas to be issued to demand documents, emails, and witnesses to be presented to the commission at its next meeting. But Friday, Lincoln County is saying no. The county district attorney filed a motion in court that challenges the state's authority and would block the subpoenas. The county says the commission unfairly implied there is something fishy about the deal that was made with the consultant.


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