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January 31, 2015

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Damon Political Report

Sandoval’s budget relies on at least one fee increase


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Gov. Brian Sandoval waits to greet a delegation from the Senate to inform him that the Senate is organized and ready for business during the first day of the 2011 legislative session Feb. 7, 2011, in Carson City.

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CARSON CITY - Sure, it’s easy to say you’re for no fee or tax increases, but it’s not that easy to actually pull it off when you go to build the budget.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who repeatedly emphasizes his rock solid position against raising taxes or fees, had to scrape together more than $1 billion in new revenue to offset the substantial cuts he’s made to education, health and human services and public safety.

Included in that new revenue is at least one fee increase.

In the last special session, the Legislature authorized the Nevada Gaming Control Board to increase the hourly rate it charges prospective gaming licensees to investigate their applications to $135 from $80.

That legislative fee increase is included in Sandoval’s budget.

But Sandoval is also allowing the Gaming Control Board to collect $242,000 more a year from applicants by expanding the amount of time in which that fee is charged.

Currently, applicants only pay the gaming control board for investigating their application. Under a change proposed by the Sandoval administration, the board would begin charging the fee for the pre-investigation review of the application for completeness and a post-investigation review of the application before it's sent to the board.

Stacy Woodbury, the board’s chief, said the move is to stay in line with the legislative priority of requiring the industry to bear the costs of regulation rather than the state’s general fund.

But it’s also a fee increase proposed by the governor.

Woodbury said the increase was necessary to avoid layoffs.

Asked about the change in the fee structure, Sandoval’s chief of staff Heidi Gansert said she would have to look into it.

Since Sandoval has vowed to stand rigidly against a tax increase, his opposition has been scouring his budget to find ways to label the popular new governor a hypocrite.

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, accused the governor of raising taxes on the mining industry by removing the sunset on the industry’s pre-payment of $60 million in net proceeds tax.

The change adjusts the timing of the tax payment to ensure the state has money in the first year of the biennium.

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  1. BFD.

  2. A job killing tax increase! The idea of raising taxes during a recession. He has flip flopped on another campaign promise. We could save more money be kicking him out of the Governor's Mansion and cutting off his free medical insurance.

  3. MRED.... you must be some kind of angry. You probably get up every morning and kick your dog.

    "... his opposition has been scouring his budget to find ways to label the popular new governor a hypocrite"...

    I didn't think D's called people names? That's not nice.

  4. Nevada needs to fund basic services. Failing to do so will be a major deterrent to new businesses who don't want to be in a place filled with yahoos and hillbillies. Come to think of it they probably do want to be in such a place but Nevada is below those levels.

  5. The Governor gets up every morning in a free house provided by the taxpayers and realizes that if he or a member of his family got sick or was injured, he has free medical insurance provided by the taxpayers to cover that situation.

    He then endeavors to take away medical insurance from Nevada families who have children with preexisting conditions by participating in a crazy lawsuit against the health-care bill.

    Looks to me that the Governor is the one that is full of anger and hate.

    If he doesn't like government healthcare, let him give up his.

  6. Mred, I was in the military. I had free health care too. Are you going to complain about me taking advantage of the system because I got my ibuprofen for free for six years? Relax, his health insurance is the least of our worries.

  7. So it is OK for the governor and the military people to get free taxpayer provided medical care, but if a kid is born with a medical problem gets government medical insurance, that's socialism??

    I see, so socialism is OK for Mitch McConnell, (who got his bypass at Bethesda Naval Hospital,) Dick Cheney, McCain and Bush...and the governor, but not anyone else?

    Sure the people who got there's can relax...

    If his medical insurance is no big deal, then let him give it up and go get his own from his beloved private sector.

    We need a ballot question to strip the Governor of his medical insurance.

  8. mred needs to stop kissing his cousin and get back to reality. Why is it the Republitards are trying to turn Nevada into Arkansas? Do I hear banjo music? Well- hell with it- let's go ahead and let all of the Republitards mary their brothers, sisters, and cousins, and call it a day. You know, people with three arms might just do a better job working in the mines. The worse our education gets, the more republicans we'll have in the state as the children reach voting age.