2011 Legislative Summary

Veteran journalist Ed Vogel wraps up the 2011 Nevada Legislative Session.

Vogel notes “Nevada delivered a balanced budget while taxes stayed the same” but can’t fail to note that both candidates for Nevada Governor last year promised that they would not renew taxes scheduled to automatically expire. The promise – which appears to have been what most Nevadans wanted, if the polls that drove the major candidates’ campaigns were right – was not kept.

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Update: 2010 Census Data Says Nevada Not Last In Spending!

The Tax Foundation’s new analysis of the 2010 US Census shows that little has changed – Nevada remains one of the states most successful in shifting its tax burden off of residents and onto non-residents. The new data shows us ranked 49th in the amount of personal income consumed by state and local taxation, but 37th in the amount of total state and local government spending as a percentage of personal income.

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Nevada Government Pay Sixth Highest

Driven by the highest local government (cities, counties) pay in the United States and moderated by less lucrative state-level worker pay, Nevada overall ranks sixth-highest government worker pay in a new study by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.

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Poor Reporting By Associated Press

An Associated Press Wire Story that ran in today’s Review Journal and Reno Gazette Journal (read it here) is an example of embarrassingly bad journalism. It states, over and over again, that Nevada has the worst budget deficit in the United States.

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How Bad Is Nevada’s Tax Shortfall?

Worst in the nation, Jon Ralston flashed his audience today, citing the Wall Street Journal:

If you don’t believe what I and others have been saying about Nevada having the largest proportional budget hole, The Wall Street Journal says it’s true – just click on the map

The Journal’s article and chart actually rank Nevada’s tax shortfall as relatively mild, compared to many other states… at 6.5-percent, 16 states have a worse revenue shortfall than we do.

The data does rank Nevada’s legislature as one of the most …

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Go Gov!

We recently had occasion to check out the new Open Government website from Governor Gibbons. I could spend hours here!

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We’ve Got To Raise Spending In Order To Cut It

Great Review Journal editorial today:

…despite the fact both population growth and school enrollments have leveled off — even the “maintain services at current levels” spending Carson City Democrats apparently consider “as low as they’ll go” represents 17 percent more spending than the budget enacted by the Legislature two years ago — 26 percent more than actual spending of about $6.3 billion.

For months, the bureaucrats and Democratic legislators have been making a show of tearing their hair, weeping and moaning about “cuts,” lambasting Gov. Gibbons for …

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State Archivist Departs Urging Tax Shift From Tourists To Residents

Nevada’s State Archivist Guy Rocha made the front page of the newspaper with news of his retirement. He offered, in addition to his usual ability to fascinate with his command of Nevada history, some political views. For example:

“I find it disturbing this state that has essentially been my life is, in my opinion, on the brink of disaster. You can’t cut 34 percent or more without devastating state government”… Rocha fears legislators in the coming session will cut state spending so severely that it might …

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Revenue Forecasting for Nevada’s State Government

Prior to the 1980’s, the Nevada Legislature approached spending with a measured, responsible eye. Over a couple of years back then, it converted to push hard for more and more spending every session. This attitude was not a function of Nevada’s growth rate, which has run at a constant rate since the 1960s.

During the late 80s and early 90s, the Legislature’s zeal to spend led to an embarrassing series of “budget cuts” caused by the Legislature’s aggressive forecasts of revenue. They planned unrealistic increases in …

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Nevada Legislature Special Session

The Nevada Legislature reduced their plans to increase spending by $73-million dollars, but squeezed savings accounts and borrowed money in order to increase spending by another $267-million dollars during a special session Monday.

Here’s coverage from the Review Journal.

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