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Tax Reform vs. Tax Hikes

Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston articulated in his column today a position we’ve been open to on taxes for many, many years…only to have it rejected out-of-hand by pretty much everyone on the left and many on the right: REVENUE NEUTRAL tax reform.

“There is a real debate to be had, separate from how much government needs to fund education and other essential services, about how the state raises and spends money,” Ralston writes in his column today.

The key word in that sentence: “separate.”

“[Gov. Brian] Sandoval has not turned a deaf ear to tax reform, although he has been, typically, cautious in both his 1.0 (no new taxes) and 2.0 (extend some taxes) iterations. But it’s clearly time for a Nixon-goes-to-China moment, with the governor going to the Nevada Policy Research Institute, which has issued lacerating criticism of his tax extensions, to begin the tax reform discussion.

“Although NPRI is obviously against any tax increases, it has argued, as anyone with a triple-digit IQ would, that Nevada’s exceedingly narrow tax base needs to be broadened. Indeed, NPRI has proposed a broader sales tax base in exchange for lowering the overall sales tax rate, which is regionally high. That seems like a good place to start the discussion…”

Indeed, however….

I remember attending a town hall/dog-and-pony show hosted by then-Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley at the VFW hall in Carson City in 2008 and, after she made her case for expanding Nevada’s tax base, I asked if she would support revenue neutral tax reform SEPARATE from tax hike proposals. In other words, expand the tax base without increasing the net amount of money going to the government.

Answer: No.

The fact is, the left uses tax “reform” as a fig leaf to disguise their insatiable appetite for more and higher taxes. And for the record: voting for revenue neutral tax reform is NOT a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge…so the only people standing in the way of it are…liberals.