(Mike Chamberlain/Cranky Hermit) – An article in the Las Vegas Sun reports Governor-elect Brian Sandoval is becoming isolated in his stance to balance the budget without instituting any tax and fee increases. Politicians and businesspeople, including Sandoval supporters, are increasingly advocating tax increases to close the shortfall, according to the piece.
Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval has pledged not to raise taxes, reasoning that the deepest recession in memory isn’t the time to burden businesses and individuals.
Worthington, who counts himself as a supporter of the governor-elect, and others, however, say the state must raise taxes to protect its education system, otherwise schools and universities will be hurt and the state will be less competitive nationally and less able to dig itself from the economic morass.
These conflicting views on how to improve Nevada’s economy will be the key debate between the governor and lawmakers during the 2011 Legislature. State government is projected to be billions of dollars short of the funding needed to continue state services, including schools, at current levels.
With his no-new-tax pledge, Sandoval increasingly finds himself on a no-new-tax island with only a small cadre of conservatives.
If the number of people resisting tax increases consists only of Sandoval and “a small cadre of conservatives” that would mean those advocating for higher taxes represent an overwhelming majority of citizens – well-meaning citizens willing to do their share. This presents an easy solution to the budget crisis.
Estimates of the projected budget deficit range as high as $3 billion. So let’s assume that the maximum tax increases required would amount to $3 billion. All of those advocating for raising taxes should determine how they would raise this additional $3 billion, which taxes and fees should be increased and by how much.
State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, a Democrat, has claimed that the state could achieve $1.5 billion in spending cuts. That leaves $1.5 billion the state would have to receive in new revenues.
That represents half of the additional revenue the tax increase proponents have calculated their plans would raise. As they represent an overwhelming majority of the population, then we can easily raise the required amount of money (and then some!) if each of them voluntarily contributed to the state the amount of additional taxes they would have paid under their particular plan.
For those businesspeople who would raise the sales tax, they can add that percentage to the base price of their goods and contribute the additional revenue received with each sale to the state. Workers who believe in an income tax can determine the amount of each paycheck that tax would have represented and donate it to the state. Salaried workers can even set up an auto-pay from their checking accounts! For those who recommend increasing the modified business tax, they can calculate what that amount would be under their proposal and send a check for the difference to the state. (This is an especially good idea because if both an employer and employee prefer this method they will both send in the difference, thus doubling the extra cash the state receives!) As tax increase proponents represent an overwhelming majority of Nevadans and their investment in the state will improve the economy, before long the state will be awash in cash!
All of those who favor tax increases are well-meaning folks who are concerned with maintaining essential services and willing to contribute their fair share. And the additional revenues the state receives will be investments that will pay back to each of them over time in improved quality of life, a better-educated workforce and a more diverse and dynamic economy. So I’m certain their plans to raise revenue for the state all include taxes and fees that would affect them and their businesses. They can’t just be willing to raise taxes on other people. Can they?