(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – The list of Nevadans under consideration as members of a “Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group” to participate in a review of the state’s revenue structure has now expanded to 85. A legislative panel will select no more than 19 to serve on the advisory panel when it meets Nov. 16.
The individuals selected by lawmakers to participate will represent areas of expertise from education and public safety to commerce and industry.
Among those being considered for the panel include Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, Joseph Dini Jr. of the Nevada Mining Association, Alan Feldman, an executive with MGM Mirage, and Jan Gilbert of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
Other names include Marsha Irvin of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, Kathleen Silver of the University Medical Center and Lynn Warne of the Nevada State Education Association.
A complete list is included here. The initial list had 72 names, but several more were added by an Oct. 30 deadline.
The panel will work closely with Moody’s Analytics, the West Chester, Penn., based firm selected by lawmakers last month to perform the study at a cost of $253,000. The firm has until July 1 next year to complete its review.
The list of nominees has already come in for some criticism.
At a meeting last month, lawmakers who will select the stakeholder group were told the nominees represent the major recipients of government spending, from education and health and human services.
As a result, any study could be compromised by the influence of such a panel, said Geoffrey Lawrence, a fiscal policy analyst with the Nevada Policy Research Institute.
“The group’s recommendations will likely include new government spending proposals,” he said.
The panel should include representatives who support private sector involvement in the provision of public services, Lawrence said.
The revenue study itself has already been criticized as well. Gov. Jim Gibbons voted against funding the review, saying the outcome is already known and will be a recommendation for higher taxes.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, disagreed that the study has any preconceived agenda. Lawmakers sought the study because of the likelihood that the next state budget will be out of balance by as much as $2.4 billion. This is due in large part to tax increases approved by the 2009 Legislature that will expire in two years, and the likelihood that federal stimulus funds will no longer be available to the state.
Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said the Legislature wants a study so it can use it to consider its options for the 2011 session.
The study is required to be performed by a qualified and independent consultant and will examine the allocation of tax revenues between the state and local governments, the adequacy of revenues and the stability of different tax revenues, among other issues.