The Nevada Policy Research Insititue has long labored to document how our state and local government works.
Citizens Against Government Waste was founded by Washington journalist Jack Anderson and industrialist Peter Grace.
Their collaboration in the Silver State is now available online.
As of the end of October 2008, Nevada’s state prison population was running about 8% below the projected inmate population. Around 13,400 people are doing time in our state prisons.
Here is the Department of Correction’s statistics webpage for October 2008.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports a 4% decrease in water consumption for southern Nevada so far this year – and a possible decrease in our official population as well.
Local opinion columnist Geoff Schumacher wrote in today’s Review Journal that Nevadans should pay more taxes:
Lawmakers shouldn’t be scared to death of raising taxes. Nevada’s tax burden is the nation’s second lowest, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. This sound sgreat on the surface but it crassly ignores the significant social costs. Idealogues aside, most Nevadans understand that maintaining the many facets of a decent state requires adequate funding.
Indeed, the Tax Foundation is nonpartisan, and did find Nevadans’ tax burden is the nation’s second lowest. But it also found that our tax extraction from non-residents is amongst the nation’s highest, and, most importantly, that our state and local government spending (including what Nevadans and non-Nevadans are required to pay) ranks 25th amongst all states. Indeed, our state and local funding is already adequate.
The Nevada Employment Security Department today published the October 2008 “Economy in Brief” and it is available online. Amongst this issue’s most fascinating statistics: Nevada’s personal income growth rate has been cut in half since the record 2003 tax hikes and 2005 increase in minimum wage.
Compared to a year ago, September sales tax collections were off more than five percent, a continuing indicator that Nevadans are either fewer than they were one year ago and/or have stopped spending as much money per person.
Coverage from the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Local government unions are being asked to voluntarily reduce pay levels – or face layoffs.
Clark County officials, led by Commission Chairman Rory Reid, met with leaders of the Service Employees International Union and the police and fire unions Thursday to deliver the grim news. Expenses are outpacing revenues, Reid said. Thus, current labor costs are simply unsustainable, he said.
The three unions represent 12,000 workers, and their leaders bristled.
“A meeting like we had has never been seen,” Reid said later. Prior to this week, reopening contracts has “never even been suggested as an option.”
Nevada’s legislature has mandated that Nevadans purchase more expensive “renewable” energy. Our utility companies are complying, although full compliance is years away. Although mandated under color of the law, the extra amounts Nevadans pay for the mandate is not technically a “tax.”
No one has been able to calculate exactly how much more the typical Nevada family pays in their power bill for this mandate, but everyone agrees costs have been increased, and will continue to be increased even more as the legislature’s goal is pursued.
This internet entrepreneur has created a website to allow welfare recipients to easily browse subsidized housing from the convenience of their living room computers.
William G. Howell, associate professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and Martin R. West, assistant professor of education at Brown University, found that most people are off by half when asked to guess how much they and their fellow taxpayers spend on government schools.
In sum, Americans think that far less is being spent on the nation’s public schools than is actually the case. The vast majority of the public thinks we spend amounts that can only be described as minuscule, and almost 96 percent of the public underestimate either per-pupil spending in their districts or teacher salaries in their states.
Links: Hoover Institution article describing Drs. Howell & West’s study