Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Montandon announced yesterday a petition drive in opposition to any plans to begin taxing services, such as haircuts and dry cleaning, in Nevada. He said it would be better to raise the sales tax. “Sales-based taxes on items,” the departing North Las Vegas mayor told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “is probably the most viable means of a broad-based tax.”
Fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Heck told the RJ that he, too, was opposed to a new tax on services, saying “he saw it as no different from the sales tax on goods, which he would oppose increasing for the same reason.” He also cautioned against “knee-jerk” opposition to a service tax which hasn’t even been proposed yet.
The third Republican gubernatorial candidate, Jim Gibbons, also seems to be opposed to a new tax on services. “It couldn’t possibly be more clear,” Gibbons spokesman Dan Burns told the RJ. “The governor does not support any new taxes. If it’s a tax increase, a fee increase, it will be vetoed.”
Of course, when it comes to Jim Gibbons such pronouncements aren’t clear at all. While saying he doesn’t support any new taxes out of one side of his mouth, the governor proposed a massive hike in the room tax in his budget. And although Burns claims the governor will veto any new tax hikes, Gibbons refused to veto the room tax hike. So it’s probably best to just take Gov. Gibbons’ statements on taxes with the proverbial grain of salt.