(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – While some members of his party have weakened in their opposition to tax increases, Governor Sandoval took a step toward cementing his commitment to a balanced budget without raising taxes. Today his administration indicated the governor would veto two bills currently making their ways through the Legislature, SB192 and AB183.
While these are being touted as “jobs” bills, they are actually part of a plan by those who want to raise taxes to blow up the budget and force the governor to break his word and accept tax increases later in the session.
A spokesman for the governor explained the planned vetoes.
“There is a big budget issue there,” he said today. “Because they create a major hole in the budget without the provision of any type of strategy or plan as to how to back fill that loss of revenue.”
Although neither of these bills contains a tax increase they both either commit funds that are not part of the budget or use money for a different purpose than called for in the budget. The intention is to blow up the governor’s budget by committing spending that is not accounted for in it. Since the state cannot spend more money than it takes in, the governor will either have to make additional budget cuts or go back on his word and accept increased taxes to cover this additional spending.
We discussed SB192 last week, just after it was introduced then pulled from the Senate floor. It was reintroduced today and passed on a straight party-line vote. The bill directs a portion of property tax revenues in Clark and Washoe counties to be used to bond for public works projects. It may blow a nearly $100 million hole in the budget.
AB183 directs funds to bonding for school maintenance that the governor’s budget allocates to school district operations.
With few exceptions, the legislators who favor tax increases won’t simply come right out and admit it. Instead, what they have done is avoid talking about taxes while at the same time attempting to create a situation in which tax increases are necessary.
They have encouraged demonstrations and public displays of opposition to budget cuts by public employee unions, students and others who benefit from tax revenues. They have also resorted to tactics such as those represented by these two bills, in which they push for spending that is not accounted for in the budget and will require additional taxes to fund.
The governor has seen through this ruse with SB192 and AB183. But the protests and the demonstrations and the attempts to blow up the budget will continue.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)