Reid, Sandoval agree: Don’t raise taxes in 2011

Victor Joecks

Bookmark this interview. We may need to reference it during the next legislative session.

Over the weekend, the Las Vegas Sun posed 10 questions to gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid and Brian Sandoval.

The second question concerned taxes, and both candidates said that they wouldn’t support raising taxes in 2011.

Is there any circumstance in which you would consider raising taxes or renewing taxes set to expire next year?

Reid: Now is not the time to raise taxes on Nevada families. People are hurting, with unemployment and foreclosures at an all-time high, and we can’t aggravate the situation further by taking money out of families’ pockets. However, I will not cut education further because strong schools are the key to building a better economic future and attracting new jobs.

Sandoval: No. I believe that raising taxes is exactly the wrong thing to do. As a former judge, I look at the evidence, and nowhere have I seen any evidence that raising taxes creates jobs.

Kudos to the Sun for asking about the expiring tax increases as well. Remember that extending a tax increase is … a tax increase.

Now the real question is: What would each candidate do after the election?

Two years ago, Sen. Steven Horsford and Sen. Bill Raggio both said that they wouldn’t support raising taxes. Just a few months later, though, both supported a record-setting, billion-dollar, job-killing, secret tax increase during the 2009 legislative session. And they weren’t the only politicians who lied about their position on taxes.

Is either Reid or Sandoval misleading the public (or himself) on his position on taxes? I don’t know, but taxpayers who are concerned about legislators trying to raise taxes in 2011 need to ask each of the candidates again and again about their position on taxes and how they plan to reduce or reform Nevada’s spending. (NPRI’s alternative budget is a good place to start.)

Also, with news breaking last week that the tax study is now just going to be a wish list of government spending, both Reid and Sandoval should consider the recommendations in NPRI’s tax study, “One Sound State.”

And as the only current tax study available, “One Sound State” is also a valuable reference tool for candidates and citizens. For instance, did you know that Nevada’s Modified Business Tax is much more volatile than our sales or gaming taxes? You would if you read “One Sound State.”

Also, the Transparent Nevada blog has a post on Reid’s and Sandoval’s answers about requiring transparency in union negotiating.