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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.