Live blogging the IFC’s tax study working group

Victor Joecks

***Scroll down for updates***

The committee dedicated to trying to justify taking more of your money by conducting a tax study is back.

And so is our live blog. The meeting agenda is here and you can watch it live if you go to this page and scroll down to the second entry. The complete title is the “Interim Finance Committee’s Subcommittee to Conduct a Review of Nevada’s Revenue Structure Working Group to Review Responses to the Request for Proposal.”

The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. so stand by for updates.

8:59: This isn’t a meeting of the full subcommittee. It’s a working group, chaired by Sen. Raggio, that will determine which firm actually conducts the tax study.

9:06: Lots of paper shuffling, but it hasn’t started yet.

9:07: And the committee members are Sen. Horsford, Sen. Parks, Sen. Schneider, Assemblyman Anderson, Assemblywoman Kirkpatrick, Assemblyman Settelmeyer, Assemblyman Stewart, and Sen. Raggio. And they’re all there.

9:12: 8 bids received.

9:18: 3 of the bids have ties to Nevada. I wonder if that will be a factor in deciding who gets the contract.

9:23: Next IFC meeting is November 19. Will this working group recommend a vendor or just evaluate the proposals?

9:30: One thing that will drive you crazy about these committee meetings is the number of times the committee members refer to “staff.” Sen. Horsford clearly has a timeline in mind, but he won’t just say it. Instead there’s lots of references to what “staff” thinks or the impression of “staff.” Even staff member Russell Guindon is referring to what “staff” thought. You are the staff!

9:32: Raggio: The purpose of this working group is to direct “staff…”

9:36: There is one bid from an econ professor at UNLV and a bid from a group connected with UNR. Wouldn’t that be a clear conflict of interest?

You are conducting a study that will be used to justify raising taxes. As an employee of a state-funded university, you stand to directly benefit financially if Nevada raises taxes and gives more tax money to UNLV or UNR.

9:41: Oh boy, the tax study might cost more than $500,000. 2 of the proposals cost more than $500,000. And just a reminder of how dishonestly the IFC obtained this money.

Remember this when politicians tell you they’ve cut the budget to the bone.

9:49: Remember the money quote from the last meeting?

10:18 A passing comment from Assemblymen Anderson reveals the true purpose of this study. “We don’t have money. That’s the reason we’re doing the study.”

I haven’t heard anything from Assemblymen Anderson yet today, but the meeting is young.

9:55: There was a motion to dismiss the bid from Nevada Consultants Inc, but it was pulled as the President of that company is now defending her bid.

10:01: Yep, the president of the NV Consultants is playing up the “we’re from Nevada” angle.

10:09: Sen. Horsford still wants to dump them, because they don’t provide enough specifics. Assemblymen Settelmeyer and Stewart disagree. Motion fails.

10:18: Another meeting next week to further review the 8 proposals.

10:19: The group is recommending “up to $500,000” to pay for the tax study to the Board of Examiners. As Raggio is explaining though that number is basically meaningless, because the IFC can set the number at whatever they want.

10:23: The next meeting is 9 a.m. next Thursday, October 15. Consider this your heads up that I’ll be live blogging that meeting as well.