Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2014

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Governor still promising to veto tax increases

As first reported by my colleague, Sun columnist Jon Ralston, the Greater Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is sending out a letter today acknowledging that more revenue will be needed for the state if the crisis continues.

But Gov. Jim Gibbons said at his press conference today that he will try to reduce spending by 34 percent for his next budget. He also said he would veto any tax increase legislators put on his desk.

Gibbons has made that promise before. But it's the first time he's made that promise since the full effect of the state's economic depression has been felt.

A bipartisan consensus has emerged that the state cannot cut 34 percent of the spending compared to the last legislatively approved budget, as would be required without new taxes under revenue projections made Dec. 1 by the Economic Forum.

At a briefing with reporters, when he signed the proclamation to deal with the current budget year's crisis, I asked him if the state would need more revenue for 2010 and 2011.

"I am not in a tax increasing mood," he said. "I would rather decrease spending."

Another reporter asked what he would do if the legislature said a tax increase was the only way, and brought a bill to his desk.

"I would veto it," Gibbons said.

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