Where is the ‘none of the above’ option?

Do you ever get the feeling that the tax quiz in Carson City is multiple choice, but without a “none of the above” option?

First Gov. Brian Sandoval trotted out a bunch of ex-governors to tout his $1.3 billion in tax hikes, mostly to fund failed public education spending programs. Treasurer Dan Schwartz tossed out his brief outline for a budget that would still spend more without tax hikes. Controller Ron Knecht rolled out his more detailed plan to spend almost as much as Sandoval, but without tax hikes. Now, Assembly Bill 464, presented by Majority Leader Paul Anderson and Taxation Chairman Derek Armstrong, both Republicans, proposes raising the modified business tax on payrolls instead of Sandoval’s gross receipts tax.

Nevada Assembly Republicans Derek Armstrong, left, and Paul Anderson present an alternative tax plan in a committee hearing at the Legislative Building in Carson City Tuesday. (AP photo)

Is there no one in Carson City who can just say, no? Spend what the Economic Forum said you’ll have to spend under the current taxes?

Sometimes people get blindered by the lack of choices being presented and think they have to take one of them.

At least AB464 has the advantage of being based on a known tax source and the estimates for the amount it will raise are more trustworthy than the estimates for Sandoval’s untried, untested gross receipts tax in the form of business license fees — contained in Senate Bill 252.

The Nevada Registered Agent Association commissioned a study of Sandoval’s proposal and estimated that it overstates its revenue projections by approximately $42 million in FY 2016 and by about $65 million for FY 2017. How will that hole be filled? With tax hikes?

Forgotten in the scramble to tax more of our money for their spending is the fact the Economic Forum forcast $6.33 billion in revenue for the general fund for the next two years. That is up from a forecast of $5.8 billion in revenue two years ago — a 9 percent increase.

Nevada’s population grew by 2.5 percent from 2011 to 2013. Nationally, inflation has increased since 2012 by 3.4 percent. Thus, 9 percent is enough to cover both population growth and inflation.

It would also be helpful to note that the 2012 forecast was a bit of a lowball and the actual two-year revenue is closer to $6.27 billion. What’re the odds the same thing will happen with this forecast?

How much more of the state’s gross domestic product and net income does government need?




6 comments on “Where is the ‘none of the above’ option?

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    Taxes Taxes Taxes. Sell some of the stuff you already have to raise some cash. Want to see what the state owns, it’s buried here: http://controller.nv.gov/FinancialReports/CAFR_Download_Page.html

  2. Anonymous says:

    The tax and spend proposals DO NOT ADDRESS the decreases to our economy that occur when government pulls more money out by taxing. The GDP and net income go down, down, down.

  3. Roberta says:

    The Legislature, Governor, in toto are FAILING TO CONSIDER SPENDING SMARTER: Example One: Save about $100 M a year by releasing NON-VIOLENT prisoners (more than 5400 right now) who are costing us about $20K each, per annum. OK, it would cost a few mill to “properly supervise” parolees. LETS GET LEGISLATION TO AUTHORIZE THE PAROLE BOARD AND DOC STAFF TO MAKE THE DECISIONS–how about “testing” household confinement on more convicts–instead of only the uber-rich who can pay the “costs” of surveillance equipment? How about early release for those with family or friends willing to provide “transitional housing.” Transitional housing seems to be the BIG EXECUSE why the Parole Board hesitates to release–some correlation with releasing destitute convicts without income thinking they are more likely to re-offend. Well, daaahhhh, yes. So for those who have family or friends to assist with re-entry into society…..let’s STOP THROWING MONEY AT INCARCERATION when there are MORE VIABLE ALTERNATIVES.

  4. Steve says:

    Scary thought:

    Imagine if the Democrats had held onto the majorities they had last session (or worse, the one prior to that) The taxes we would be looking at now dwarf what we are seeing!

    shudder….small consolation I s’pose.

  5. Barbara says:

    From the 2014-2015 GOP Party Platform:

    “We strongly support those in public office who resist higher taxes and fees, and seek to reduce the size, cost and scope of government at all levels.”

    “Residents of the State of Nevada are not under-taxed and state government is not under-funded. Our current budget crisis is the result of years of overspending. Government cannot tax the state or the residents into prosperity”

    “We support the current Nevada constitutional prohibition on personal income tax, and the same prohibition must continue to apply to business. Gross receipts taxes and selective taxes on specific businesses will ultimately drive business away from our state”

    “We oppose the practice of extending sunsetted taxes”

    “Our public education system needs substantial improvement, and we support local control of education where the money follows the child, giving parents more options in school choice.

    “We oppose mandated curricula such as Common Core, as well as data collection and tracking that follows students for life”

    “We support legislation affirming English as the official language for conducting business at all levels of government”

    “We oppose amnesty, government benefits or other special treatment for those who enter the United States illegally.”

    “The powers of government should be limited to those enumerated in the U.S. and states constitutions. We support less government, lower taxes, less regulation and more individual responsibility.

    Eliminate bureaucracies that demonstrate wasteful spending, operational inefficiencies, and use regulatory powers to infringe on individual rights.”

    Silly me. I thought giving Republicans control of the Governorship, Senate, and Assembly as well as all state constitutional offices would have resulted in just a few of the principals outlined in the Party Platform being enacted. Maybe I’ve missed it. Is there any significant bills being passed that accomplish a goal of limited government, closing unproductive and unconstitutional programs, significant school choice, etc. It seems to me Nevada no longer can say they truly have a viable Republican Party.

  6. Winston Smith says:

    The Republican Party has long been Socialist Party B, even on state and local levels…

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