Possible tax increase coming today!!! Update: Passes

Geoffrey Lawrence

The State Assembly today will vote on whether to approve the ballot initiative sponsored by the state teacher union that would increase the room tax in Clark and Washoe counties. The proposal would increase the tax on transient lodging in those counties by an additional 3 percent of gross receipts.

This tax increase has received implicit support from Gov. Jim Gibbons, who included it in his Executive Budget in spite of his "tax pledge." According to Gibbons' Executive Budget, he expects the new tax to amount to $292 million over the next two years. Industry leaders, however, have highlighted that the tax increase will only further dissuade tourism in a market that has been hard hit by recent economic conditions. They say revenue from the new tax will likely be between $120 million and $130 million over the biennium.

Update: Assembly passes the tax increase, 35-7. Little doubt about what the Governor will do.  

Geoffrey Lawrence

Geoffrey Lawrence

Director of Research

Geoffrey Lawrence is director of research at Nevada Policy.

Lawrence has broad experience as a financial executive in the public and private sectors and as a think tank analyst. Lawrence has been Chief Financial Officer of several growth-stage and publicly traded manufacturing companies and managed all financial reporting, internal control, and external compliance efforts with regulatory agencies including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Lawrence has also served as the senior appointee to the Nevada State Controller’s Office, where he oversaw the state’s external financial reporting, covering nearly $10 billion in annual transactions. During each year of Lawrence’s tenure, the state received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers’ Association.

From 2008 to 2014, Lawrence was director of research and legislative affairs at Nevada Policy and helped the institute develop its platform of ideas to advance and defend a free society.  Lawrence has also written for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, with particular expertise in state budgets and labor economics.  He was delighted at the opportunity to return to Nevada Policy in 2022 while concurrently serving as research director at the Reason Foundation.

Lawrence holds an M.A. in international economics from American University in Washington, D.C., an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  He lives in Las Vegas with his beautiful wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Carson Hayek and Sage Aynne.