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).
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.
The eight states north and east of California are preparing themselves for new record levels of fleeing Californians.
In response to having spent all of their substantial take from taxpayers, a coalition of 76 Democrats and 6 Republicans today passed a $13-billion tax hike. Nevada political pundits jealously coveted the plan’s “stable tax structure.”
The tax hikes include a full percent increase in sales tax, increasing the state income tax to 14%, and doubling car registration fees. The tax hike packages is about 65% the size of Nevada’s 2003 tax hike package, on a per-capita inflation-adjusted annual basis.
Standard & Poor’s has cut California’s credit rating to last place amongst 50 states.
Here’s coverage from the Wall Street Journal.