Barbara Buckley rails against Nevada's "boom-bust" tax structure
Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, has been on a months-long tour to convince Nevadans the state must overhaul its “boom and bust” tax structure in favor of a more stable framework.
Ironic, given that yesterday's biggest news story, at least according to Drudge, was that California hasn't been able to close its $42 billion budget deficit and the government's out of money. The state is even going to begin laying off some 20,000 government workers.
It's not just California—or Nevada—facing budget shortfalls. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that, "At least 46 states faced or are facing shortfalls in their budgets for this and/or next year, and severe fiscal problems are highly likely to continue into the following year as well."
And who has it the worst?
The states with the biggest deficits tend to be the most profligate. California has by far the biggest gap—$40 billion—thanks in part to a 40% increase in spending over the last five years. Arizona, Florida and Nevada also have deficits of roughly 20% of their operating budget; each of these states allowed their expenditures to grow by more than 50% faster than the average state budget over the last decade. (h/t Nevada Taxpayer)
Nevada's problems do not come from its unique way of collecting taxes. They come from spending more than it can afford. There is a solution, however.
Paul Senseman, spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer, said before Arizona closed its $1.6 billion budget gap for the current fiscal year in late January, the state was approaching cash flow issues akin to those states. But budget cuts have improved Arizona’s fiscal front and officials are not looking at delaying tax refunds or other such measures, he said.
Cutting spending? Where have we heard about that before?