NACO vs. the taxpayers

Andy Matthews

Jon Ralston's blog post from June 11 contains a link to a letter written by Steve Martin of Nevadans for Fair Taxes, in which Martin takes the publicly funded Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) to task for using taxpayer dollars, at the behest of special interests (i.e. gaming and the teacher union) to lobby county governments to push for massive tax increases.

Ralston's compulsive sarcasm aside – he implies self-interest on Martin's part due to the former state controller's role in heading up Sheldon Adelson's tax supermajority effort – Nevada's most visible political pundit has done a service to his readers by providing them access to Martin's letter (available via the Las Vegas Sun's website here).

Two of Martin's questions for NACO are especially incisive, and we eagerly await NACO's answers. For starters, why is NACO using taxpayer money to lobby against the interests of those same taxpayers – without even seeking the taxpayers' input?

And secondly (and perhaps most importantly), why is the public being kept in the dark about how exactly all those increased revenues will be used?

Clearly, some transparency and accountability are in order.