2019 Legislative Session
Well, the first week of Nevada’s 80th Legislative Session has come and gone. Atop the hubbub in Carson City already in these first days were the subjects of new taxes (yes, new taxes) and collective bargaining. Nevada Policy is keeping a close eye on things, and making it easy for taxpayers to do so also with our online Bill Tracker. It has been updated in real time throughout the week (view here), and every Friday a summary of developments will be posted right on our website (view here). Keep on top of what is going on at the legislature by bookmarking our Tracker — right now you can see the already-gathering attacks on your pocketbook!
Governor Sisolak has promised to give state workers the ability to collectively bargain — a move that will inevitably lead to higher taxes for Nevadans. (Read more here.) For a good example of how privileged public-sector unions conspire with pols to rupture government budgets and soak taxpayers, just look to California. Median earnings for a Santa Ana citizen working full time is under $30,000 per year. Santa Ana police officers, on the other hand, currently make over $200,000 annually. And they just got a raise! Santa Ana City Council members gave police pay raises totaling $25 million over the next two and a half years, despite not having any ability to actually pay the $4.3 million cost for this fiscal year! One way or another, it’s going to be taxpayers who earn significantly less who’ll have to make up the difference. (Read more)
The Federal Reserve recently examined Nevada’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), and acknowledged what Nevada Policy has long been saying: that things don’t look good for taxpayers or public employees. According to the Fed, PERS only had a funded ratio of 45.5 percent in 2016, and its unfunded liability was a staggering $43.3 billion. That, however, was just the start of the trouble. (Read more)
A lot of Democrats on the national level have been calling for massive tax hikes on the so-called “top one percent.” The loudest proposal is even suggesting a top rate of 70 percent on billionaires. So how do Americans feel about hiking taxes on their rich neighbors? Pretty good actually… until it impacts them. When Americans were asked how much they would be willing to pay in taxes on a $20 million lottery jackpot, people’s enthusiasm for taxing millionaires suddenly seemed to dry up. (Read more)
Fiscal and taxes
Thanks to the federal tax reform package passed into law in 2017, millions of Americans are seeing smaller tax bills and, in some cases, larger refund checks. However, there is one group of people who, thanks to a change in how much they can deduct for state and local taxes, will actually be paying more in federal taxes: Wealthy property owners in high-tax states such as our westward neighbor. Indeed, governors in high-tax states such as California, New York and Illinois are starting to panic over high-income earners fleeing to lower-income states. It’s a phenomenon that has already cost New York more than $2.3 billion in income tax revenue, according to that state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo. Maybe, just maybe, these governors should consider lowering their tax rates to remain competitive. Or is that just crazy talk? (Read more)