Credit where it’s due: Horsford continues opposition to a corporate income tax

Victor Joecks

This isn’t a new revelation since Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford came out against a corporate income tax last year, but it’s worth highlighting this again.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford said Monday he no longer favors imposing a corporate income tax in Nevada, a sharp turnaround from a year ago when he railed in the Legislature against companies for not “paying their fair share.”

“I’ve gone full circle,” Horsford acknowledged in an interview with the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Horsford’s stated problems with the corporate income tax are that corporate income taxes are extremely volatile and hard to administer.

This stance doesn’t mean Horsford’s planning on honoring his promise to voters to not raise taxes during an economic downturn, however.

“I won’t support tax increases — not when the private sector is losing revenue and losing jobs,” Horsford told the Review-Journal’s editorial board in September [2008].

“The general fund needs to be managed in a way that doesn’t allow growth beyond population growth and inflation.”

It just means that he’s looking for a less volatile and destructive tax. Two rumored alternatives are a gross receipts tax/franchise tax or a non-revenue neutral expansion of the sales tax.

There are many problems with a gross receipts tax. In fact, the Tax Foundation finds that:

There is no sensible case for gross receipts taxation. The old turnover taxes–typically adopted as desperation measures in fiscal crisis–were replaced with taxes that created fewer economic problems. They do not belong in any program of tax reform.

A non-revenue neutral expansion to the sales-tax could lead to government picking the winners and losers.

Horsford said he would consider a new sales tax on the $100 billion in services sold each year in Nevada.

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce argues the tax could target services relied upon by businesses and individuals with higher incomes, such as accounting and legal services. Depending on how it’s structured, a sales tax on services could raise $500 million a year, supporters have said.

While it’s great to see Horsford acknowledge the instability of the corporate income tax, taxpayers still need to be on the lookout.

Nevada’s leftists still want more of your money. They just aren’t telling you how they want to take it yet.