Las Vegas newspaper now says it hasn’t decided about whether to support Sandoval tax hikes … or not

Las Vegas newspaper appears to be vacillating on the governor’s biggest-in-state-history tax hike.

After Gov. Brian Sandoval visited the paper’s editorial board to pitch his plan, the paper editorialized, “Gov. Sandoval needs support from both parties to pass his $7.3 billion budget, the tax increases needed to fund it, and the K-12 improvements that will result from it.”

That sounded like an endorsement of his proposal, especially when the editorial concluded by telling the governor he needs to “rally the divided Republican Assembly caucus and convince all Nevadans that his plan will position the state for a prosperous future. He must lead like few governors have led before.”

Brian Sandoval (AP photo via WSJ)

But in a short editorial today about the governor’s proposed cigarette tax hike and the possibility of imposing super sales tax on e-cigarettes the paper proffered, “We’re not yet ready to support or rule out any element of Gov. Sandoval’s tax plan. Nevada’s cigarette tax is the 15th-lowest in the United States. An increase would not make Nevada’s rate a regional outlier.”

That’s like saying our taxes aren’t as high as California’s … yet.

Also, one week after the state’s new Republican controller and treasurer took the time to point out the flaws in the governor’s tax proposal, the newspaper’s far-left columnist used his space to ridicule their ideas, even though I can’t that the newspaper has written a word in the news columns about what they had to say.

The columnist didn’t even bother to repeat Controller Ron Knecht’s most telling statistics — that in the past decade state spending has grown 10 percent more than Nevadans’ incomes, while state spending for Health and Human Services has grown 37 percent and K-12 public education spending has increased 23 percent, while there has been no corresponding improvement in student test scores or graduation rates.

The newspaper’s new publisher, named just before the election, doesn’t seem to be displaying the fiscal conservatism of past publishers, a stance encouraged by the newspaper’s owner.

I wonder how much more the newspaper would have to pay in taxes under the governor’s plan? And how much that would cut into profits, if there are any.

Mark Ficarra became publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in September 2014. (Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Meanwhile, at The Wall Street Journal, the governor was called out on the editorial page under the headline: “Brian Sandoval’s Billion-Dollar Somersault: The Nevada governor vowed no new taxes as he campaigned. But that’s so yesterday.”

The piece suggested Sandoval could kiss off any chance now of running against Harry Reid or seeking a vice presidential nomination — as a Republican, that is.





9 comments on “Las Vegas newspaper now says it hasn’t decided about whether to support Sandoval tax hikes … or not

  1. Steve says:

    Bob Beers for Senate.

  2. Steve says:

    Seems the RJ is getting hard pressed for copy.

    They recycled a three month old editorial and posted it online today.
    Check it out:

  3. That’s the lede editorial in print. I wondered why I couldn’t find it online.

  4. Winston Smith says:

    Sorry, off subject:

    As I’ve said for years, it’s the Warmists who consolidate the data who have the most to gain with their lies and manipulations.

  5. Pale Rider says:

    I see that the New RJ has turned on its comment section again. I wonder what caused the New RJ to do that? I suspect it had something to do with advertisers and lost subscriptions.The New RJ acted in a dumb way in turning off comments instead of stopping a few trolls from causing havoc. It also followed closely the ending of Sherms column. Time for the New RJ to go right again, instead of the left!

  6. Ben Desraeli's damn lies says:

    As Nevada incomes over the last decade have been constant (in real terms) or decreased (in nominal terms), it is no shock that state spending has increased in comparison. Why not use other measures of comparison like population growth or the state’s economic output? Or, why not just look at the amount of money spent on education over the last decade in nominal terms (

    In fact, in Controller Knecht’s report, he argues that tax collection should be a certain percentage of economic output; given that argument, he should compare the increase in state budget to the size of the state economy. but, I don’t think that comparison would be as favorable to his (or your) argument.

    Arguing that K-12 should do more with what they have is a fine debate; arguing that K-12 has been overfunded relative to any reasonable measure (population growth, economic output, spending in other states, or even educational outputs) is taking the statistics and beating them until they confess.

  7. agent provocateur says:

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

  8. […] couple of days later the paper backtracked a bit and editorialized that it was not yet ready to endorse the governor’s […]

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