Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010 | 2:38 p.m.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid reiterated his no new tax stand Tuesday and said he believes there are other ways to deal with Nevada's looming budget deficit while keeping the state open for business.
State lawmakers and budget officials project Nevada faces a $3 billion shortfall in the upcoming two-year budget cycle, roughly half the current $6.8 billion spending plan approved by lawmakers in 2009.
Neither Reid nor Republican candidate Brian Sandoval have detailed their budget plans, but both have said they would not raise taxes given Nevada's dour economy.
Nevada leads the national in joblessness, bankruptcies and foreclosures. The state's unemployment rate in June hit a record 14.2 percent, nearly 5 percent points above the national average.
"With all these burdens on Nevada, I'm not going to suggest than an additional burden is appropriate at this time," Reid said.
He added that his plan, when he releases it, will also entail revamping state government to eliminate duplicity.
"There are a number of opportunities to consolidate and reorganize ... to eliminate redundancy and still provide services," Reid said.
Last week, state Budget Director Andrew Clinger said that under current taxing and spending levels, Nevada would have enough money to fund public schools and higher education if it eliminated all other state programs and agencies.
On Monday, he told KRNV-TV another alternative would be for the state to take more tax money from local governments.
Reid said that wasn't a viable option.
"Any suggestion that we can solve the state's problem by taking local money, that just shifts the problem to some other place. We need long term solutions, not short term grabs to solve this," he said.