Editorial: Nevada still leads nation in public worker pay

Once again Nevada has earned a worst-in-the-nation ranking. An analysis of 2016 payroll data by Key Policy Data found Nevada’s state and local public employees are the least productive in the country, according to a news account by Watchdog.org. Though researcher J. Scott Moody found that Nevada’s state and local governments employed only 11.7 people […]

How Nevada provides a disincentive for experienced teachers and other employees to continue working

Once again the folks at the Nevada Policy Research Institute have put out a jeremiad lamenting the state’s self-defeating, tax-draining, counter-productive public employee retirement system. The opinion section of the Sunday newspaper carries an op-ed by Robert Fellner, director of transparency research at NPRI, that points out that the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada provides a […]

Editorial: Another public pension warning flag raised

Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University have published their annual “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition,” and Nevada ranked a respectable 14th among the states in overall fiscal health and accountability. The study ranked each state based on short- and long-term debt and other obligations, such as unfunded pensions. The unfunded pension […]

Newspaper column: Lawmakers must finally address public worker retirement reform

In his State of the State speech this past week Gov. Brian Sandoval tossed out tax money like trinkets and candy from a Mardi Gras parade float — a couple million here for this or that education program, a few million there for a veterans’ home, millions for a medical school, more millions for an […]

Public employee pension funding not likely to be addressed this session either

In 2008 the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce called on the Legislature to change public employee retirement benefits from the current direct benefit plan to a direct contribution plan, similar to a 401(k), because the expenditures were growing at an unsustainable pace. In 2011 a report drafted for the Nevada Policy Research Institute by Andrew Biggs, an economist with […]

Newspaper column: It is long past time to patch the broken public employee retirement system

“You know my rule, Andy,” says a grifter in an O. Henry tale, “that in all my illegitimate inroads against the legal letter of the law the article sold must be existent, visible, producible. In that way and by a careful study of city ordinances and train schedules I have kept out of all trouble […]

Editorial: Window on government employee pensions is eye-opening

The Nevada Policy Research Institute has updated its popular transparentnevada.com website, which reports the names and salaries of state and local government employees, with 2015 data. While the salary data is significant information for taxpayers who want to make sure we are getting our money’s worth, it may be the benefits, particularly retirement benefits, that […]

Another report says Nevada underfunding public pensions

CORRECTION: I’ve been informed that the author of the study below failed to include local revenue in calculating the underfunding of the PERS contributions. Once local tax revenues are added, the 40 percent required tax revenue drops to 22 percent. Still in the top 10 of states, but not No. 1. According to an analysis published […]

Newspaper column: 2015 Legislature was all take and no give

The expectations for the 2015 session of the Nevada Legislature were exceedingly low, but, by jove, they spectacularly exceeded the lowest expectations and gave a new definition of the word “nadir.” Not only did they raise taxes and basically create a Nevada version of the IRS with a “commerce tax” that smells suspiciously like a […]