Las Vegas Sun

January 29, 2015

Currently: 60° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account


Sandoval increasingly isolated in his anti-tax stance

Many business leaders concede that cutting the state budget alone won’t bridge the gap between revenue and expenses


Sam Morris

Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval is finding himself increasingly isolated in his position against any new taxes. A large number of politicians and businesspeople acknowledge that tax increases will be necessary to maintain vital state services, including education.

To tax

Nevada’s educational system, which ranks near the bottom nationwide, accounts for 53 percent of the state budget. Without devoting more money to education, some leaders fear, the state will never become desirable enough to attract a diverse array of businesses or improve the quality of life here.

Or not to tax

With Nevadans still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, some say raising taxes is an unnecessary burden on businesses and individuals, arguing that such revenue-boosting tactics would hurt job growth.
John Oceguera

John Oceguera

Neal Smatresk

Neal Smatresk

Developer Rich Worthington thought he had two big fish on the line, the kinds of companies whose arrival in Las Vegas would have made headlines, a tidy profit for his firm and created hundreds of jobs.

IKEA, which sells home furniture and accessories, wanted to open one of its massive showrooms here; Internet service provider EarthLink was considering moving a call center from California to Las Vegas.

The Molasky Group of Cos., where Worthington is president, wined and dined representatives of the two companies and took them on tours of the valley. “They were very interested in the tax structure, in the low operating costs,” Worthington said.

But both companies decided against coming here and both did so for the same reason — a lack of college graduates.

“IKEA said our percent of college graduates was just too low and they found they didn’t do well in that kind of market,” Worthington said.

EarthLink “said they hire and recruit college graduates, and it would be too expensive to recruit from Southern California and elsewhere, then bring them here.”

Worthington tells the story as an argument against the narrative that’s been written in Nevada for most of the past decade: Low taxes will draw businesses and jobs.

“We go year to year and the Legislature continually responds to lobbyists who continue to maintain this mentality about harvesting resources without putting anything back into the community,” Worthington said.

Meanwhile, Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval has pledged not to raise taxes, reasoning that the deepest recession in memory isn’t the time to burden businesses and individuals.

Worthington, who counts himself as a supporter of the governor-elect, and others, however, say the state must raise taxes to protect its education system, otherwise schools and universities will be hurt and the state will be less competitive nationally and less able to dig itself from the economic morass.

These conflicting views on how to improve Nevada’s economy will be the key debate between the governor and lawmakers during the 2011 Legislature. State government is projected to be billions of dollars short of the funding needed to continue state services, including schools, at current levels.

With his no-new-tax pledge, Sandoval increasingly finds himself on a no-new-tax island with only a small cadre of conservatives.

Republican leadership in the Assembly and Senate are on record saying they believe taxes passed in 2009, and set to expire in 2011, will have to be extended. Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, has said there will need to be both spending cuts and tax increases.

Incoming Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, last week became the latest legislator to say a tax increase will likely be needed.

The gaming and broader business community stress the importance of protecting education, which comprises 53 percent of the state budget. Even at that share of spending, the state is 46th nationwide in higher education funding per capita; 45th in residents with a bachelor’s degree; and 41st in the number of 18- to 24-year-olds who enroll in state universities.

At the same time, according to Oceguera, Nevada has the second-lowest tax rate in the country.

Oceguera tried last week to drive home what he and others see as the problem with a cut-only approach to the budget. Addressing the Clark County Commission, Oceguera said a 10 percent cut would hurt services and still not balance the budget. A gap of 7 percentage points would remain between revenue and expenses.

Although a tax increase won’t bridge the entire gap, he told the Sun, “at the end of the day, there’s probably going to be a need for revenue.”

Policymakers in Nevada, from legislators to governors, have a long reputation for listening to a small group of powerful lobbyists, many representing big business and gaming. So education advocates are focusing on getting buy-in from the private sector.

Jan Jones, a vice president at Caesars Entertainment and former Las Vegas mayor, said a broad group of gaming and business leaders thinks improving the education system “is in the long-term interest of the state’s economic health.”

“We are concerned about the governor’s perceived position to not consider a broad-based business tax,” said Jones, a Democrat. “Anyone who thinks we can move forward in this state without implementing a broad-based business tax is failing to lead and deluding themselves to the reality of our economic situation.”

Others in the business community say gaming leaders calling for a broad-based business tax don’t speak for the larger business community.

Monte Miller, a businessman and close adviser to Sandoval (as he was to Gov. Jim Gibbons), said “the majority of businesses don’t want tax increases right now.”

He criticized calls from gaming and mining for a broad-based business tax, saying the state’s modified business tax, which taxes payrolls, is effective and fair.

To be sure, any criticism or praise of the governor’s approach must be tempered by the fact that Sandoval won’t unveil his budget until late January. Sandoval’s staff said he remains committed to balancing the budget without additional revenue, including fees. Sandoval, who won a convincing victory over his Democratic opponent, has a broad-based transition team and plenty of political capital.

Whatever the governor and Legislature do, UNLV President Neal Smatresk thinks the path to better living standards and, more importantly, more jobs in Nevada runs through the university system.

“I am 100 percent sure that the people living here want a better life for their children, and you’re not going to get a better life unless you invest in the community,” he said. “I would call education the most fundamental investment that we need right now. There are unequivocal connections between the number of degreed and advanced-degreed citizens and the economic health of a region.”

That business-minded Las Vegans support his view is evidenced in the fact Smatresk is on the cover of the November issue of Business Voice, produced by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.

Smatresk said he knows “many conservatives who are attuned to the role of UNLV, and they understand that this isn’t the time to back away from that investment.”

“And I don’t think any governor wants to be the governor who flushed higher education,” he added. “At some point, I think they’ll roll up their sleeves and make sure higher education, which is critical for this state, is going to be adding to the economy — not just cutting us.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 40 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. You need a college degree to put together Ikea's furniture??

    Seriously, college graduates can't find that many jobs in Nevada that require a college degree either. The states with the highest percentage of millionaires based on disposible net worth tend to be states that have higher taxes. The states that have the smallest percentage of high net worth people tend to be "low tax states."

    Gee the "low taxes" have certainly served the state well, Brian? What have you done to reduce the unemployment rate?

  2. Since 1985 is when I came to Las Vegas. I hear the word diversification. In this case bring more business into Nevada so government doesn't need the gaming interest to always fall back on. Since 1985 nothing has happened and the powers that be will never allow diversification because when that happens someone's power is taken away.

  3. Cutting state government, introducing state employee furloughs that reduce the amount of money that those Nevada families spend in the local economy, and lower taxes for businesses like Wal-Mart have been tried for two years now and business leaders and Republicans admit it is not working. Its just making our recovery more difficult. End the furloughs, tax businesses like brothels who have been begging to be taxed since this past February, and go after those who refuse to register their cars state-wide.

    As for UNLV, its so bad there that cash and clothing collections are taken year-round by the Classified Staff Council for state employees who can no longer afford the furloughs but have no choice except charity. Yeah, international businesses like IKEA want to move to a state that can't even pay the people who run the universities and have to collect charity on the job to make it to the next day.

    Get a clue, Brian. Or are you too busy naming the guy in charge of fighting nuke waste in Nevada to head the DMV? Lord, there was a move that made everyone in Carson City go, "Wha-wha-wha-what?"

  4. William & William, 2 Bills that make sense!

    The stubborn anti-tax faction of the state (the faction that put Figurehead Sandoval into office) has NO SHAME. And no business acumen, apparently.

    Having an anti-tax stance as an ideology is one thing... but shunning clear revenue streams just so you can continue to adhere to an anti-tax/low-tax philosophy, is an IDIOTOLOGY that is ruinous to the populous hereabouts.

    Mining rapes the land and reaps ROYAL rewards in a process that is tantamount to a FREE RIDE for FOREIGNERS, one that allows them to line their pockets with Nevada's precious natural resources without any substantive cost... WHY; WHY. WHY?

    An idiot could balance the budget in Nevada without harming the overall business climate or adding additional tax burden to the average citizen, but the POWERS THAT BE refuse to budge.
    They use the "No New Taxes" Mantra like a badge of courage, when in reality it's a protection racket. Mining & Gaming pay a fee to our politicians [lobbyists] to NOT GET TAXED.

    Protecting rich, ultra-wealthy corporations from paying a FAIR RATE OF TAXATION ain't smart, Nevada, nor is it "prudent at this juncture"... it's just another example of the Nevada State Motto;
    "We Will, By God, Bite Off Our Noses To Spite Our Faces"!!!

  5. Now I can see why Gibbons does not plan to attend Sandoval's inauguration.

    Gibbons already handed him the playbook on how to do nothing and make it look like he can do no wrong. The turnover is complete. Continuation of Nevada Republican Party knuckleheaded ideas will commence smoothly without a break in action. While the people are encouraged to puke regularly and at the same time convince them that they need to gargle with it for revitalization, it's good for you, believe me....

    Get ready for another four years of suffering through yet again one more Republican Governor who thinks of nothing new and don't have the slightest clue on how to lead and govern. Only rape and pillage.

    Same old thing. Kowtow to the rich and solve money shortfalls by going after teachers, firefighters, police and State employees...the very ones that can bail Nevada out of this mess we're in. And Sandoval will go after anyone else who looks at him funny. But leave casino owners alone. He needs their campaign money.

    All the while they are doing this, point fingers at the working folks and say it's their fault, not mine, you made us do it to you, you deserve this, your dime for standing there and being a victim for our excesses.

    Guaranteed Sandoval is a one termer.

  6. "Monte Miller, a businessman and close adviser to Sandoval (as he was to Gov. Jim Gibbons), said "the majority of businesses don't want tax increases right now.""

    As long as people with this attitude sit on any governors staff and represent "business", Nevada will stay in the hole it has dug for itself. How do the "businesses" which closed and are closing feel about his advise and suggestions? Or, is he representing the casino industry which pays the lowest tax rate for casinos of all the states which allow gambling.

  7. Sure, conservatives are "on a small island". Most other politicians haven't yet learned that the "tax-and-spend" insanity they endorse is what got us into this mess. And more of the same won't get us out of it. Sure, the lack of viable college graduates is a problem to some. But the bigger problem is that over-spending by the state government agencies has put us in the poor house. ALL BUDGETS must be cut, including school and higher education budgets. Higher taxes is not the answer. That is the old, tired, worn-out liberal way. Now we are taxed to death.

  8. Pssst. Mred: How could Sandoval have done "anything about unemployment yet"?? He ain't in office yet. Hello.

  9. Colin: Your unmitigated bias is showing and your blathering is reason for you to be shamed.----Do you think the Legislature serves any function at all, or is the governor a dictator?

  10. Thankfully we have a governor with principles who understands the only path to long-term sustainability for Nevada is via fiscally responsibility. The Las Vegas Sun's overt tactic of trying to isolate Brian Sandoval or paint him as the villain isn't going to work.

    Why do you think Governor Sandoval won an election less than 8 weeks ago by 11 points and his central message was "No tax increase!"

  11. Sandoval has hurt employment by clinging to Gibbons failed tax policies. That's how he has not done anything even though he hasn't become GOVO2 yet.

    California: Agriculture, wine, fruit, nuts, cheese, aerospace, aircraft manufacture, film and TV industry, Silicon Valley, electronics, computers, software, tourism..etc.

    Diverse economy and 12% unemployment.

  12. Don't matter, Richard. The Legislature here could vote unanimously for an increase in gambling and mining taxes and Sandoval would veto it. Just in the nature of Republicans and their blind loyalty to take care of the filthy rich.

  13. gmag: Perhaps you could enlighten all of us and tell us how little an amount the mining industry contributes to the state and the feds in taxes and fees. You are obviously an expert, so please tell us what the diminutive figure is. Please inform us how much it would improve the economy of our state if mining was removed, since they are just getting a "FREE RIDE". Please explain, oh wise one.

  14. No one wants to be burdened with taxes ever, that's why we should be electing officials to do the hard job of evaluating our state's needs and then implementing strategies to satisfy those needs; no matter how unpopular. We need a state income tax for individuals and business, and no, not just casinos and mining who are already taxed over their fair shares. It isn't surprising that big businesses are passing on our state due to a population with low education. IKEA has jobs throughout the business and management, logistics, supply chain management all require skilled workers who have graduated from college. And what about Earthlink? Doesn't it make sense to staff a technology company with people who have studied that very technology? We need to fund the things we claim to be important to us. You want good schools and thriving university system? Well then you have to pay for them. With taxes.

  15. > Most other politicians haven't yet learned that the "tax-and-spend" insanity they endorse is what got us into this mess. <

    actually it was the spend and spend of the prior regime that got us into this mess. I know it'd be easier for your position if you could rewrite history --- but unfortunately that can't be done.

    perhaps you can take a minute to explain how this state, with one of the lowest tax burdens in the country, is in the crapper. I mean low taxes are the answer, right? so why doesn't it work here?

  16. Recall HIM NOW before it gets worse and figure out how to increase the state revenue stream without stealing from local governments. Elect the man with a plan - Rory!

  17. vegas_tom: You made my point; that tax-and-spend politicians are responsible. The scenario is not attributable to any certain "regime", but more to a liberal mind-set. And there are libs in both major parties. No attempt to re-write history here---only to correct the abuses of the past so we can have a better future. And, why is Nevada in the crapper? I can answer you in three words: Obama, Reid and Californication.

  18. "Richard"...

    May I suggest you do a little research, big guy?

    "Between years 2000 through 2007, one-third to one-half of all the mines operating in Nevada reported zero taxable proceeds despite producing gold worth a half-billion dollars or more.

    Over the same eight years, the Nevada mining industry has deducted 79 percent of the value of their gold production and paid taxes only on the remaining 21 percent.

    Gold prices now are at an all-time high, above $1,000 an ounce, and the CEO of Barrick Gold speculated last year that the value could easily top $2,000. It costs $200 to $400 to mine and process an ounce of gold from ore."

  19. p.s....
    not having enough money to pay your bills, or to properly fund education, is not the fault of your "Obama, Reid & Californication"... there's PLENTY of cash running through Nevada. Thanks to the "No Taxes!" goofballs, Gaming & Mining are getting a FREE RIDE!
    Great link from Vegas_Tom...

  20. gmag: You're side-stepping the issue. Yes, there are a lot of little mines which aren't yet profitable. The question was, how much do you think the "FREE RIDE" companies like Newmont and Barrick and others pay in taxes? You assert it is insignificant.----Add to Obama, Reid & the Californication of Nevada the liberal spending practices of state and local government agencies. Incidentally, the top 10 cities with the worst economies are blue, just like Clark County.

  21. Over taxation of viable, profitable businesses is a recipe for future disaster. If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Over taxation of the timber industry in liberal Oregon killed that industry in their state. Do we want to do the same to mining and gaming in our state? Viable, profitable businesses help the economy, not hurt it. Why would we want to drive them away? The feds have been doing this on a massive scale, driving businesses abroad.

  22. mred and svpeaacock,

    IKEA doesn't want a showroom (to sell furniture) here. The market (college grads) is too small. Either LV doesn't have enough sophistication to appreciate their product or the bucks to buy it.

  23. Hey Richard, try reading the article. you're spouting off about tax and spend when that isn't mentioned. The point of the article is cutting spending alone will not balance the budget. Any business owner knows you have to generate revenue to cover expenses.

    "Oceguera tried last week to drive home what he and others see as the problem with a cut-only approach to the budget. Addressing the Clark County Commission, Oceguera said a 10 percent cut would hurt services and still not balance the budget. A gap of 7 percentage points would remain between revenue and expenses."

  24. > it is not even a good news analysis piece either.<

    bla. bla. bla.

    its funny how if you don't agree with the premise it's garbage. Well I'm here to tell you that I'm thrilled your opinion don't matter as much in the real world as it does in your head.

  25. > that tax-and-spend politicians are responsible.

    at the peril of repeating myself it was the spend and spend crowd that got us here. Unfunded senior prescriptions and two wars off the books. Look it up --- it's all there to see.

    > only to correct the abuses of the past so we can have a better future. <

    I couldn't agree more --- but I suspect my solutions to the problem would be vastly different than yours.

    > And, why is Nevada in the crapper? I can answer you in three words: Obama, Reid and Californication.<

    lol --- see. you're making believe the "stuff" hit the fan when Obama got elected. It didn't. I started Oct of 2007. Go look at the charts of the DJIA and you can see exactly when the whole thing went tilt. Again --- if you're being genuine about fixing the problem you can't arbitrarily decide when the problem started.

    And I noticed you passed on my very simple question regarding the panacea that low taxes bring unlimited growth. Nevada is proof positive that theory is not true.

  26. > Thanks for agreeing with me that we are talking about OPINION and not news.<

    lol --- Sherm, I mean sarge --- your ability to process is not normal. I said _your_ opinion doesn't matter anyplace but in your world. I did NOT say the piece was a opinion piece.

    Heh -- if I want an opinion piece passed off as news I could go to FAUX, Brietbart or the RJ.

    Try to keep up --- there were about the same number of words in my reply as in one of your blog entries. I did that on purpose; to see if I could stay within your tiny attention span.

    thank you.

  27. > There are other companies willing to relocate to Nevada due to the fact that taxes are much much less than California. <

    and those companies are?

    Hell, name 10 and we're good.

  28. You need a college degree to put together Ikea's furniture??


    You're missing the point. A lot of companies want the young kids with college degrees NOT to "put together Ikea's furniture" (sure they may start out on the sales floor) but with an eye toward the future. If IKEA is like a lot of companies, they will put the college grad employees thru training programs, teaching the business and how the company runs with eventural promotions to the higher up "corner office" positions. Companies don't want the high school dropout running the company - THOSE are the ones that will be putting together the furniture while the college degreed ones tell the ex-valet parkers on what to do and basically run the business.

  29. Assembling IKEA furniture can be a nightmare and if you mess it up, you can't return it. Education in Nevada must be improved. Taxes on Casinos could be Doubled and you would still have some of the lowest Casino taxes in The World. Mining Taxes - It's Nevadas Gold, why give it away for the few jobs these International companies create. Is there a Billionaire in Nevada that has not had a Temper Tantrum - maybe a small income tax will bring a little reality. After all they just got a huge Federal Tax cut.
    Again-If low taxes were the solution Nevada should be filled with jobs from Border to Border. It's all about an educated population and the sooner everyone understands, the sonner our recovery can begin.

  30. So let me get this straight...
    The President hasn't rebounded our nation's economy in 2+ years, and it's not his fault. It's just all the extraneous economic factors.
    Nevada's repub leadership runs a tax freeze to entice businesses to move to NV for two years, and it's a miserable failure. Just because it's a bad idea. And not because the nation's economy has been in the gutter.
    Double standards rock!

  31. The last time I sat (I'm 6'2" tall and 200lbs) on an IKEA stool it broke. So I'm not that excited about seeing it peddle it's overpriced junk in Las Vegas. Recent studies have shown that children who are home-schooled are 5-10 years more intellectually developed than kids who attend government schools. And they accomplish that without a certified card carrying union member teacher. So when we start crying about how bad education is in Nevada we need to track it back to the original problem, a lack of family structure with an emphasis on academic achievement. And there is ample proof that throwing more money at education does not increase results. Parents set the bar for their children. If you want to ensure mediocrity and failure just keep allowing the government to decide the future of your childrens' education.

  32. So all Sandovall campaign boils down to is the same old Gibbons mantra: The Cheese stands ALONE!

  33. "In order to change the taxes on mining and/or to add a state income tax in Nevada you need to gather enough signatures to have your petition voted on by the citizens of the state [Nevada] if approved it then has to be voted on and APPROVED again two yrs. later... then it can be part of you tax and waste plan!"

    That's not entirely true, pmmart, at least when it comes to mining.

    Constitutionally, taxes on mining are limited to 5%. HOWEVER, the mining companies don't pay anywhere near 5%. Their effective tax rate, after deductions found in Nevada Revised Statutes, is closer to 1%.

    If we want to increase revenue from mining, it's fairly simple. A bill passes through the legislature and clears a veto from Sandoval. The bill simply repeals the NRS which stipulate the overly generous deductions.

    If a tax rate OVER 5% is desired, THEN you would have to overcome the Constitutional challenges you cite. But we can recoup a much larger percentage of taxes that we are right now through a simple bill in the Legislature that rescinds those deductions.

  34. > Do you think that matches up with the reald world? <

    here's the real world -- Gibbons got voted in and did nothing for the state (and that's giving him a generous benefit of the doubt). So what changes with Gibs2.0?

    and had no idea you were grammatically challenged. The term used was "moving" -- not moved. I'll look at your list later to see if there's more than junk jobs on that list.

    And stop putting words in my mouth. I did not cite this story as the definitive works of Gibs2.0. That'll take a while. But I sure don't cast it away as trash as you do.

    But since you're so smart tell me what happened to the low taxes = greatness formula?

    The cuts to things you don't give a crap will only take it so far. Will you howl when seniors programs start getting cut left and right? I'm thinking so. That's, as you might say, a "predictable" reaction from the shallow right.

  35. 1. Mr. Gibbons was a "no new taxes" guy. How did that work out?
    2. The projected Nevada budget deficit is approximately one year's expenditures (out of two). The biggest slice of Nevada's state budget is education.
    3. The Nevada budget deficit as a percentage of Nevada's Economy is much larger than the California Budget Deficit is as a percentage of California's Economy. We would be lucky to have a problem the relative size of California's.
    4. Pushing expenditures onto Clark and Washoe County, and taking money from those Counties and the Cities they contain is just pushing the problem down to the big Counties and major cities -- without increasing the ability of those local governments to fund those expenditures.
    5. Here are the options: (A) Close down the state for a year. (B) Double taxes. (C) Close the schools and prisons. (D) Some combination of cuts and taxes.
    6. Apparently, we are not adult enough to do D. So the choices boil down to A, B, or C, because the State cannot shift enough expenditures to the local governments to close the budget gap enough to make a real difference.

  36. "As for UNLV, its so bad there that cash and clothing collections are taken year-round by the Classified Staff Council for state employees who can no longer afford the furloughs but have no choice except charity."

    Did you ever look at the salaries of the half-million dollar a year coaches there? What about the quarter of a million dollar salaries of the teaching staff?

    How about the up to $600,000 for local and county ping-pong players? Crying poverty?

    Get a clue?

    Open the public libraries 24-hours, 7 days per week, and get a self-education after high school or pay for your own "higher" education.

    53% of the state budget to be number one at the bottom? My back pew is sore!

    States all across the nation will soon be bankrupting and so will local governments because of government employee's salaries and benefits.

    So much for your higher standard of living.

    Go ahead, Liberals, bleat!!!

  37. I realize, reading most of your comments why Earthlink and Ikea do not want to come here.Their products appael to a more educated crowd of people than the ones one finds around Nevada . Your comments of" The state raising taxes on the only businesses you have", would constrict those and drive away new businesses seeking better tax grounds. Why do you not get engaged in your childrens education and keep them in the colleges to earn a degree.? There are enough colleges in Las vegas for your children to get a good education . The governement and higher taxes will not take that responsibility away from the parents. By the way I live in California and do see lots of businesses flee here every day including me . The amount of welfare the lazy and illegal pepole here receive creates a whole class of dependent abusive citizens .You are responsible for your own children if they do drop out of school early . I have talked to many casino employees in Las Vegas and hear about the benefits and paid vacations the ones get who are employed there .That is a lot for a business to pay for. Maybe most of you here, who are commenting, have never beeen in business for themselves or lived of government handouts and therefore make these uneducated remarks.I will still move here and open up a new business and hope to find some ambitious associates who I can employ one day ....
    Mae Weste

  38. How about a NEW tax?

    Oh, that's right...there's not much left to tax.

    Oh wait...AIR...let's start a "breathing tax" for visitors.

    If they complain or refuse...just cut off their air!

    Gentlemen...I think we have a winner!

  39. Accounting 101 will tell the Governor elect that the State doesn't have enough income! Spending has been cut substantially and that has not been sufficient to cover the loss of income as a result of the recession. WAKE UP and stop being a politician and act like a leader and do what is necessary to correct the deficit. Raise the Sales Tax and increase the taxes on the "hands off" mining/casino industries in order to generate the cash flow necessary to fund the States expenses. It will not hurt business it will help keep the States economy alive.
    Would a 2 to 3% temporary sales tax increase stop big ticket retail sales? NO! A bankrupt State will however.