Horsford now opposes a corporate income tax

Victor Joecks

While Senator Steven Horsford wants to raise your taxes by a record $1.5 billion, he does oppose creating a corporate income tax
I’m going to have a lot more on this Las Vegas Sun article featuring Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, but let’s start with this nugget – and bit of good news.

But he [Horsford] also said he does not support a corporate income tax, which he had advocated in the past, calling it more volatile than he had previously thought.

So let’s review.

During the 2009 session, Horsford introduced legislation to study the creation a corporate income tax. During the same session, Horsford also said that Nevada needed to broaden its tax base and suggested creating a “net profit tax” (just a different name for a corporate income tax).

Horsford also initiated the now-defunct tax study to find ways to broaden and stabilize Nevada’s tax base.

At some point between then and now, Horsford realized that a corporate income tax is the most volatile of the major taxes states use (see here for more evidence of the volatility of corporate income taxes from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, p72 on the page or p10 in the PDF).

And based on this new information, he changed his position and now opposes a corporate income tax.

Good for him.

In this case, Horsford did exactly what you would want a lawmaker to do. He submitted his policy position, a corporate income tax, and his goal, stabilizing Nevada’s tax structure, to the available evidence. The evidence shows that a corporate income tax exacerbates revenue volatility, and so he reversed his position.

While there’s plenty I disagree with Horsford about – starting with his call for a $1.5 billion tax hike in 2011 – he now has the correct policy position on corporate income taxes, and I give him credit for having enough integrity to publicly change his stance.

In this case, other lawmakers who have publicly supported a corporate income tax, like Senate candidate and current Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, should follow Horsford’s lead.