The consensus in the Legislature these days is that a huge tax hike absolutely, positively will be passed this year. The only question is whose ox will be gored and whether or not foolish Republicans will go along with it and give Democrats the political cover they’ll need in the 2010 elections.
Actually, there’s not much question on what most Republicans will do. They’ll roll over and rubber-stamp whatever the Democrats tell them to. Like they always do.
What’s truly sad about this, however, is sitting back and watching the business community cannibalize themselves. At a joint session of the Senate and Assembly Higher Taxation Committees yesterday, gaming’s top lobbyist, Bill Bible, and mining’s top lobbyist, Tim Crowley, both essentially said, “Don’t raise taxes on us, tax everyone else in the business community instead.” Both men testified in support of a new “broad-based business tax.”
Rather than banding together and forcing government to shrink its operations the same way almost every business in America is shrinking its own operations during of this recession, these two business industries have decided to try to screw every other business in Nevada in an effort to save their own bacon.
I continue to be opposed to any tax hikes of any kind on any industry; however, watching gaming and mining try to throw everyone else under the bus, I don’t think I’ll lose any sleep if they’re the ones who end up having their oxes gored.
Except for the Sands Corporation. They seem to be the only gaming company in Nevada which actually still understands and embraces the free market, limited government and low taxation. Maybe if tax-happy legislators do approve a gaming tax hike, they’ll consider giving an exemption to the Venetian and the Palazzo. Just tax Wynn double to make up the difference. Hell, he can afford it, right?