Talking taxes III: No new taxes, says Governor … Andrew Cuomo

Victor Joecks

So this "no new taxes" position is catching on.

New York's incoming governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, says he won't raise taxes even though he will inherit a budget deficit of at least $9 billion when he takes office in January. Ohio Republican Gov.-elect John Kasich is promising to cut taxes, despite a shortfall of about $8 billion. …

"I think we have to be realistic with the people of South Carolina: This is gonna hurt," said Republican Nikki Haley, South Carolina's incoming governor. She has ruled out raising taxes or increasing fees for such things as hunting, fishing and drivers' licenses. …

At least nine incoming governors have pledged not to raise taxes to close their states' budget gaps. All but Cuomo are Republicans.

The good news for Nevadans is that governor-elect Brian Sandoval is among the nine.

In Nevada, with a projected deficit of $1.1 billion to $3 billion, incoming Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is refusing to raise taxes, calling it "the worst thing you could do" during a recession. Nevada leads the nation in home foreclosures and bankruptcies and has the highest employment rate at 14.2 percent.

"Nevada families and businesses are suffering, and our budget cannot worsen the problem," Sandoval said.

Sandoval is exactly right – raising taxes in the middle of a recession is "the worst thing" you could do in terms of the economy.

In fact, Sandoval's so right that two of his biggest rivals on this issue – Sen. Horsford, who's called for a $1.5 billion tax increase, and Sen. Raggio, who's said he'd consider raising taxes in 2011 – have actually agreed with Sandoval.

Both Horsford and Raggio have previously stated that they wouldn't support raising taxes in the middle of a recession, and Nevada is certainly in the midst of a recession.

Although Horsford and Raggio have both gone back on their words, the senators' previous statements should encourage Sandoval and his staff to stick to their guns and continue to remind the public that even Sen. Horsford and Sen. Raggio have acknowledged that the middle of a recession is not the time to raise taxes.