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Nevada Guv Speaks with Forked-Tongue on Taxes

“Many legislators have referred to ‘enhancing revenues’, which simply means creating new taxes or raising existing taxes,” according to a statement from Gov. Jim Gibbons released yesterday afternoon. “Whether it’s income taxes, sales tax hikes, property tax hikes, DMV fee hikes, or higher taxes on businesses, legislators should bring their lists out of the shadows and let the public see what they are up to.

“This is the fifth week legislators have heard testimony about the economic crisis, mass layoffs, record unemployment, and businesses large and small either failing or struggling to stay afloat, all while taxpayers are footing the bill for the legislative session, which costs $125,000 per day. There is limited time in the legislative session and it is now time for ideas and action.

“If legislators plan to raise taxes they should talk about it now and allow adequate time for those impacted to prepare, rather than springing a massive tax hike on Nevadans in the waning days of the legislative session.”

“Higher taxes will kill jobs at a time when we are trying to keep existing jobs and create new jobs. There are reports of a list of tax hikes circulating behind closed doors at the Legislature. Legislators should be candid and truthful with Nevada citizens and let the people see that list. As legislators encourage raising taxes, they should think about the people and businesses that will be crippled.”

Hard to argue with any of that.

But how does the governor square this anti-tax rhetoric with his proposal to raise the room tax, the third largest tax hike in Nevada’s history? I mean, if people and businesses are crippled by tax hikes, doesn’t that mean his room tax hike will cripple tourism? I’m just asking.