Policy Studies

The 2013 Nevada Legislative Session: Review & Report Card

August 28, 2013 | by Geoffrey Lawrence

Executive Summary

After years during which baseline revenue failed to grow, state revenues were beginning to turn around ahead of the 2013 Nevada Legislative Session. Even with more than $700 million in temporary tax hikes set to expire, Nevada was projected to receive more tax revenue by FY 2015 than it received in FY 2012.

Broken Compact

The Hollowing-Out of Nevada Statehood

August 14, 2013 | by Steven Miller

Before Nevada joined the Union in 1864, the U.S. Congress explicitly promised more than two dozen times that the new state would be on an equal footing with the original states.

That promise, however, was not kept.

Today, as this report’s cover illustrates, only 13 percent of Nevada’s surface is available to provide the state with a tax base for the funding of services. In some counties — examples are Mineral, Nye and White Pine — the tax base is virtually nonexistent, at 4 percent or less.

Behind this problem is congressional bad faith — the breaking of a commitment to new states, a commitment even older than the U.S. Constitution: that the federal government would facilitate the settling of new states by selling or giving away unappropriated land and not keeping it. Indeed, it was on the basis of this commitment that the original 13 states agreed to the Constitution.

NV Energy plan would impose big, new hidden costs on ratepayers

'Fuel switch' plan resembles a 'bait and fuel switch'

May 22, 2013 | by Geoffrey Lawrence

NV Energy wants to replace existing power plants before their usefulness has ended and for consumers to not only pay for the new plants, but also to pay more in perpetuity.

A version of the plan, dubbed “NVision” by the utility’s public relations team, was first proposed to the state Public Utility Commission in 2012. When the PUC rejected the proposal, the company took it to Sen. Kelvin Atkinson and Assemblyman David Bobzien, who introduced it in the Nevada Legislature’s current session as Senate Bill 123.

If enacted, NV Energy’s legislation would require the firm to close down at least 800 megawatts (MW) of coal‐fired electric generation capacity before the standard decommissioning date — after having constructed new renewable and natural‐gas‐ fired power plants to replace that lost capacity.

The $200,000-a-year classroom teacher

A new paradigm to rescue Nevada public education

April 29, 2013 | by James W. Guthrie

Big ideas can change the course of history. For Nevada public education, the time has come for a big idea: the $200,000-a-year classroom teacher. Teaching talent commensurate with pay of this magnitude, with eligibility based upon instructional prowess, could propel badly needed academic achievement gains.

The Path to Sustainable Prosperity

Removing the obstacles facing Nevada’s entrepreneurs

January 15, 2013 | by Geoffrey Lawrence , Cameron Belt

If Nevada really wants a robust and flourishing economy, it needs to streamline state and local regulations, reduce and eliminate state and local licensing fees and filing requirements, ease restrictions that discourage hiring and eliminate government-granted business subsidies. Those are just some of the findings contained in The Path to Sustainable Prosperity, a comprehensive study on economic development.

The Nevada Piglet Book 2012

October 24, 2012 | by Geoffrey Lawrence

When the government controls society’s resources, it becomes about who you know, not what you know. As resources are politicized, they get doled out to those with political pull to the detriment of the average citizen. That’s a central lesson of this biennium’s Piglet Book.

Facts and fiction about the unions tax initiative

Answers to the top questions regarding a margin tax

June 27, 2012 | by Geoffrey Lawrence

The teachers' union and AFL-CIO have proposed implementing a margin tax in Nevada. This study answers the top questions about how a margin tax would work and reveals how a margin tax would harm Nevada’s economy.

Solutions 2013

A Sourcebook for Nevada Policymakers

March 1, 2012 | by Geoffrey Lawrence

Solutions 2013 covers 39 subject areas and is a comprehensive sourcebook for lawmakers, candidates and citizens who are interested in policy solutions. As the name implies, these are the solutions for the issues facing Nevadans — from taxes to education, from energy to labor, from economic development to higher education, and many more.

Reforming Nevada's Public Employees Pension Plan

November 3, 2011 | by Andrew G. Biggs

The true funding health of Nevada PERS is far poorer than most realize. Using fair-market valuation, PERS' funding ratio falls from 70 percent to around 34 percent and its unfunded liabilities would rise from about $10 billion to almost $41 billion.

Total Records: 67

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