We’ve all heard about Nevada’s “structural deficit.” It’s a theory that Nevada’s tax system is somehow inherently unstable, and hard to predict. Using false logic, advocates of the theory typically want to make our tax revenue “more stable” by increasing taxes and expanding the functions of government. It was central to the debate surrounding Nevada’s job-crushing 2003 tax hikes, and frequently studied and discussed by local government employees and contractors even while rapidly increasing property values generated double-digit annual increases in property tax revenue.
Check out this report/proposal from the Nevada Policy Research Institute. It concludes Nevada’s tax structure is, in fact, too volatile, and recommends fixes other than simply increasing taxing and spending. The study suggests a flat consumption tax encompassing all transactions, at a lower rate, would reduce volatility, and also recommends some common-sense measures to make Nevada local government unions more interested in the mission of government.
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.
Nevada’s citizens have been hurt in this national economy more than people in any other state. Here’s a report on the latest data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Nevadans saw their personal income decline more in 2009 than residents of any other state, a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found.
Residents’ personal income in Nevada fell to $102 billion in 2009, down 4.8 percent from $107.1 billion in 2008. That’s not only the worst performance in the nation in 2009, it’s also the second-biggest decline among the states since 1969, the bureau said. Total personal income gauges the combined earnings of all residents in the state. Nevada has always had one of the country’s lower overall personal incomes, because it’s one of the country’s smallest states.
It seems a classic “killing the golden goose” scenario.
Nevadans’ personal income falls with the loss of jobs. Jobs are lost when employers close, move away, or shrink. Is the creation or elimination of The question that seems to drive many spirited discussions is how the imposition or removal of taxes impact the creation or loss of jobs.
ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council – has released a new study that completely discounts the Ralstonian math oft cited by socialists who want more government and less private sector.
Here’s the complete study, and here are some important highlights:
- Bigger government damages a state’s economy.
- Nevada’s tax structure is generally good for the economy because it offloads a good chunk of the cost of running government onto tourists and companies who cater to tourists (who merely pass their tax burden onto their tourist customers).
- Nevada ranks medium to high on lists that compare tax burdens on residents – again, because Nevada offloads its cost of government onto visitors.
Ralstonian math doesn’t consider government spending a valid measure of government (!). Instead, it only measures how much taxes residents pay. By that measure, Nevada fares poorly.
And that’s the continual harping you’ll hear from those who use Ralstonian math – mostly government unions, socialists and people who curry favor with elected officials in order to trade political influence for a living.
(Full disclosure: ALEC named the webmaster one of a handful of its “State Legislators Of The Year” a couple of years ago).
The National Conference of State Legislatures has issued a reminder to Nevada’s Legislature: if you plan to increase spending during a time when revenue is falling, especially when all other states are trimming spending in line with revenue, you will end up with the largest budget gap amongst American States.
No doubt the Confused Wing of Nevada’s political and press corps will again complain that we need to raise taxes in Nevada, rather than do what all the other states are doing (which is reducing spending in line with revenue).
Here’s the first quarter “Nevada Economy In Brief” published by the Nevada Employment Security Department.
New census data says Southern Nevada local governments have exaggerated their growth to the tune of about three years worth of our current growth rate.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports the story…
The Census Bureau says the Metro area hit 1.866-million last June 30, vs. local government estimates (passed up to the State Demographer before becoming “official”) that had us at just under 2-million. The difference is more than six percent, equal to three years of our current pace of 2% annual growth.
Cities and Counties in Nevada are incented to exaggerate growth because each jurisdiction’s population is a primary factor in determining how much of the state’s “Consolidated Tax Distribution” they get.
CTX, as it is known in government finance circles, is a complex formula that divvies up a group of state taxes including the car registration tax, liquor taxes, and cigarette taxes.
If Henderson, for example, has more people than North Las Vegas, then Henderson gets a bigger piece of the pie and North Las Vegas gets a smaller piece of the pie. As a result, all local governments exaggerate. Every ten years, they have to drop down to the official census count.
The unfortunate side effect of exaggerating growth is that anti-family lawmakers point to the exaggerated population counts and claim they need to raise taxes on existing Nevada families in order to provide government services to pretend people.
Two more Nevada businesses closed down yesterday… Desert Dodge, Security Bank. Yet Legislative leaders still want to raise taxes.
Here’s the fourth quarter 2008 “Nevada Economy In Brief” published by the Nevada Employment Security Department.