SAGE Commission: Employee Costs Exorbitant

Nevada Taxpayers could save more than a half-billion over the next five years by adjusting retirement and benefit costs closer to those of the private sector, according to a bi-partisan efficiency panel appointed by Governor Jim Gibbons..

The Nevada Spending and Government Efficiency Commission said in a new report that the salaries paid to state workers are similar to equivalent positions in the private sector. Commission Chairman Bruce James said, however, that the insurance and retirement benefits offered to state employees “exceeded the Nevada private sector …

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Notes From The Ropes

Just over a week ago, I posted an entry on pointing out the deceptions penned by a professor of Higher Taxation up in Reno and published in the Las Vegas Sun. I rewrote the gist of my web post for a newspaper format and submitted it to the Las Vegas Review Journal about the middle of last week, and was pleasantly surprised to find it in the Sunday Opinion section. The reaction has been quite fascinating.

It’s not just the reaction in the comments appended …

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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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Judge Pay Raises Lift Them Into Top-10 Salary States

Although the Nevada Legislature has met in special session to trim the budget twice so far this year, Nevada’s judges are still going to get a whopper of a raise next week.

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That’s Incredible!

Here’s the tale of how Clark County School District bureaucrats managed to blow a charitable contribution in seven figures. The money has since been donated the UNLV (one million) and Temple Beth Sholom (another million).

Fortunately, no school district bureaucrats lost their jobs over the fiasco.

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Nevada Population Growth Slows

Although you’ll still hear about how our top-ranked population growth requires more and more government, Nevada’s growth has slowed.

New Census Bureau estimates say seven states have growth rates faster than Nevada’s.

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Nevada Government Economist Tells Half Truths

This morning’s Las Vegas Sun featured a guest column from state government economist Elliot Parker. In his column, Parker lays out his case for more tax hikes, which will be required to hire more government employees and give them higher wages. You can read his column here.

Parker’s column essentially says Nevada’s people have been terribly chinzy when it comes to funding government, particularly as compared to other states. It would be a mistake, he implies, to not raise taxes and further expand government.

As an economist, …

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New Study on Driving – It’s Down

The east-coast big government fans at The Brookings Institute have released a new study on driving patterns. It turns out that driving is down a bit around the country, even in Nevada. Do you think the Internet has anything to do with that?

Like most states, Nevada’s gas taxes are assessed on gasoline, and total miles driven is a component of those collections.

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US Foreclosure Rate Down!?!?

Professor Mark J. Perry notes that if you take out the FIVE worst states: AZ, CA, FL, NV and MICHIGAN, foreclosures were DOWN by -1.10% in November compared to November 2007 for the other 45 states and D.C.

Interesting graph, too… Nevada is the blue line.

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Their Gain Is Our Loss

Nevada government unions are getting militant against their employer.

The “wicked profiteer” they work for finds revenue falling.

Why, their cruel taskmaster exploiter is even talking about avoiding layoffs by not giving them raises.

“We’ll sue,” their elected and well-paid leaders threaten.

Are there any dues-paying government union members who are not embarrassed by their union’s behavior? This isn’t turn-of-the-century labor action against selfish capitalists! This is modern, selfish labor action against struggling, taxpaying Nevada families, who are already not doing as well as government employees.

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