(Fred Weinberg) – I rarely set foot in the buildings which house the Nevada State Legislature despite the fact that I only live about 12 miles from them.
It’s like watching a wreck at Talladega or Daytona in slow motion.
I made an exception last week to see Nevada Controller Ron Knecht present a line item alternative budget which actually allows for an increase in state spending WITHOUT a tax increase.
The way this would be done, is to recognize the fact that, on average, local government employees in Nevada make far more than either private sector employees or state employees and to change the law so that local government employees would be required to pay ¼ of what is now being contributed by their employers into the state pension plan. By contrast, state employees now pay one half. The contribution previously made by the local government employers would then be made to the state’s school distribution fund.
The result would be a permanent source of funding for the state’s school systems and a beginning of parity between local government employees and state employees.
Predictably, some Democrats called this balancing the state’s budget on the backs of government employees.
Before you start feeling sorry for those employees consider this:
A Las Vegas Fire Captain named Raymond McAllister is a paid lobbyist for the Firefighters’ union. Who pays his salary? Why you do, if you live in the city of Las Vegas.
He sat down in front of the Taxation Committee of the Nevada Assembly and said with a straight face that you would see a mass exodus of employees. Why, he continued, he has been in the system for 32 years and it makes no sense for him to continue.
Last year, according to transparentnevada.com, Mr. McAllister made $199,429.93 in pay and benefits. In cash, he took $142,487.48, much of that for doing union work as opposed to fighting fires. That means that his cash paycheck would be shorted under Knecht’s plan by $14,604.97 leaving him only $127,882.51 on which to live because he had to defer $14,604.97 until he retired into one of the richest pension plans in the United States.
Do you think Mr. McAllister will get over it? Do you think he will really walk away from this job? Or do you think he was just bullshitting.
In true Las Vegas fashion, (they do have dice on their fire trucks) I make it better than even money (4-5) that he was just bullshitting.
Further, I’m willing to bet that if this budget were put to a state referendum, it wins by 80%.
I hope that the members of the State Assembly who will be voting on this plan do the math, because there is another piece of math out there like Ross Perot’s crazy aunt in the cellar. That is the fact that it only takes 15 votes in the Nevada Assembly to derail any plan which includes a new tax, fee or tax increase. And even some who are slightly leaning towards the RINO caucus don’t want to be seen as a Republican voting for the largest tax increase in Nevada history.
Which brings us to the last desperate plan that all the Governor’s men and handlers have introduced.
Not gonna happen.
In this version of as the Governor’s Mansion turns, the Guv has suggested making the state business license fee either $300 a year or, if you are a corporation, $500.
Apparently, his lordship doesn’t understand that Nevada does a tidy business incorporating people from outside the state. We compete with Delaware by charging reasonable fees and having corporate friendly laws.
What do you think would happen to the number of people who choose Nevada to incorporate if it suddenly cost the better part of a thousand dollars as opposed to Delaware’s $89?
Desperate times for Governor Sandoval apparently call for really desperate measures—none of which will work.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.