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.”
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.
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.