Conklin signals interest in revenue-neutral tax reform

Victor Joecks

Session after session, liberals bemoan Nevada’s “narrow” tax base and claim they to want to reform Nevada’s tax structure. And, session after session, liberal proposals to “expand” Nevada’s tax base end up being little more than political cover for massive tax increases.

With Sen. Majority Leader Steven Horsford and Speaker John Oceguera both deciding to run for Congress, however, there is a chance for new Democratic leaders, including Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin, to separate the debate on Nevada’s tax structure from the debate on how much Nevada collects in taxes.

In an interview on Nevada Newsmakers, Conklin indicated he’s willing to do just that. (11:19 mark)

Conklin: There are significant downfalls with the current revenue system. So even if it’s not an increase, at least from my perspective, I think we need to continue to take a hard look at the revenue system that we have in place, which was largely built in the 60s and 70s. And the question is, “Does it reflect the economic activity that takes place in our state these days?” And I think the answer to that is probably no. [Emphasis added]

While I would be shocked if Conklin didn’t also want a massive tax increase during the 2013 session, it’s encouraging to hear him say that he’s willing to discuss Nevada’s tax structure and the amount Nevada collects in taxes separately.

This is exactly what NPRI did last year, when we released our tax study, “One Sound State, Once Again: Comprehensive fiscal reforms to again make Nevada strong, prosperous and free.” Authored by Geoffrey Lawrence, One Sound State was and is a comprehensive plan to restructure Nevada’s tax system in a revenue-neutral manner.

Let’s hope legislators give it another look in 2013.