(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – The first of the bills designed to blow up the governor’s budget and force tax increases has passed the Legislature and will be sent to the governor’s office. Governor Sandoval is expected to veto it.
AB183 is one of the bills we discussed in this post. It passed the Assembly in the first week of March by a straight party-line vote, with one absent. Today, the Senate approved the measure, also on a straight party-line vote.
Its supporters are touting it as a “jobs” bill but it’s really a back-door tax increase. It spends money outside of the budget that will have to be paid for somehow.
The governor’s office earlier pledged to veto the measure because it commits funds to school maintenance that the governor’s budget had planned to use for school district operations. According to a Nevada News Bureau story at the time of Assembly passage, AB183 “would allow school districts to use $400 million in bond reserve funds to improve older schools.”
Signing this bill into law would leave Nevada’s schools with $400 million less than in operating funds than the governor’s budget called for. To balance the budget, the governor would then either have to cut an additional $400 million in spending in other areas of his budget or impose a tax increase of $400 million on the state’s taxpayers, something he has pledged not to do.
This is one of a series of bad bills that is designed to force tax increases by spending money that the budget proposal does not account for. The governor has promised a veto and the support in each house was below that required to override any veto, which makes it unlikely to survive such an attempt. That’s the way it should be.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)