Review-Journal endorses governor’s spending and tax hikes

The Las Vegas newspaper, which under previous administrations was reticent to embrace increased taxes, today wrapped both arms around Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed increased spending and the tax hikes required to cover it.

I predicted as much at the start of the Legislature. There was a new publisher from the ad sales side of the business — and who ever knew a salesman who could say no? The governor had just visited the editorial board to sell his budget plan. Soon after 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.”

It 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.”

Sounded like an endorsement to me.

A couple of days later the paper backtracked a bit and editorialized that it was not yet ready to endorse the governor’s budget.

Even though that publisher steps down this week as the new owners have brought in an interim publisher, who I hear doesn’t give a whit about the news and opinion operations of the papers he has led, the latest editorial stance is unlikely change again.

Today’s Review-Journal editorial is a dog’s meal of quibbles and bits. Sounds like some compromising and a few rewrites were required. It backs Sandoval’s menu of education spending on programs that largely have proven ineffective when tried elsewhere and by past governors, but the paper did draw the line at the governor’s plan to throw money at pre-K programs that amount to little more than free daycare.

The editorial also suggested making Sandoval’s margin tax lite — a business license fee based on gross receipts, like the one rejected by the voters in November — temporary and called for the next Legislature to replace it with a cut of the sales tax rate while broadening it to cover services — a proposal suggested by the Tax Foundation study commissioned by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce before it disavowed it.

Maybe state Controller Ron Knecht should visit the new publisher and tout his spending plan that doesn’t hike taxes.

It is an old joke in the newspaper business that a paper’s editorial stance often depended on who the last person to have lunch with him was.

editorial endorsement


5 comments on “Review-Journal endorses governor’s spending and tax hikes

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    We need less taxes and more private sector jobs especially in manufacturing. Production equals prosperity! Where will the taxes come from? Nevada must make stuff that the World wants to buy

  2. As Elon Musk knows, we don’t tax manufacturing in this state. Only peons pay taxes in Nevada. Billionaires skate.

  3. Steve says:

    you are going confuse Nyp with that statement!

  4. iShrug says:

    “Lawmakers can’t project revenue from a services tax if they don’t know how much commerce service businesses generate.” [from the LVRJ article]

    How is it possible that our state’s bureaucracy has no such data, yet we are expected to buy into the idea of business license fees based on gross receipts? Which data were used to justify creating dozens of different classes of businesses, and different fee schedules?

    And, what good does it do us to have a State Office of Economic Development hand out millions of dollars to privileged companies, and billion dollar tax breaks? They have insufficient commerce data on service industries, why should we believe they have a clue about other economic data?

  5. iShrug says:

    Here’s an idea: Why doesn’t the state ask Mark Ficarra, the LVRJ’s new powerhouse for some commerce data?

    “Ficarra, who lives in Summerlin, is a member of the board of directors of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.”
    [from LVRJ article link]

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