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April 2, 2015

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Damon Political Report

Democrats admit they won’t get taxes, will start cutting funding they had tried to add to Sandoval’s budget


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The state capitol is seen on the third day of the 2011 legislative session Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, in Carson City.

Sun Coverage

In what may be a final acquiescence that they can’t get the Republican votes for a tax increase, joint money committees will begin the process tomorrow of cutting the funds Democrats had tried to add back to Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed no-new-taxes budget.

Although negotiations are still ongoing, two Democratic leaders confirmed they have all but given up on convincing Republicans to back either a services or margin tax. The most they now hope to get from Republicans are enough votes to extend the 2009 tax increase in exchange for reforms to collective bargaining, employee benefits and construction defects.

Both sides said the negotiations on that point are going well—at least on the Assembly side.

Click to enlarge photo

Pete Goicoechea

“We’re still talking,” Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, said.

In the Senate, however, Republicans don’t seem ready to budge—even on the 2009 tax sunsets, which they view the same as a tax increase.

Click to enlarge photo

Ben Kieckhefer

“You don’t have the votes in the Senate and you’re not going to get there, no matter what they do at this point,” said state Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, who was seen as a key swing Republican.

According to the contours of an emerging agreement, Democrats would be forced to cut their add backs by at least $250 million. That process will begin tomorrow.

Democrats hope to eliminate Sandoval’s proposals to borrow against future insurance premium tax revenues and to grab debt reserve funds from the school districts.

When it comes to spending, however, they’ll have to find ways to whittle back the $700 million they added to public schools, the $73 million they added back to Medicaid reimbursement cuts and the $100 million they added to higher education.

Democrats had rejected a 5 percent salary cut for school district employees, but may agree to 2.5 percent cuts to help meet the new number.

Even if Democrats win enough votes to extend the 2009 taxes, Sandoval has promised to veto it.

To avoid the veto, lawmakers would have to pass their budget compromise by Friday. That would give them enough time to override the veto before the June 6 close of the session.

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  1. Fantastic! Finally common sense from the dems. Now get back to the table with something realistic before u run out of time.

  2. The Republicans win and Nevada's working families lose. Foreign mining corporations win and pay nothing in taxes while Nevada's working families pay more and more. Small businesses lose and pay more in taxes because the Republicans will not renew the 2009 budget agreement which included tax breaks for them.

    Do you really think this is fantastic? Foreign corporations taking our gold and silver and being paid our tax money for it? Nevada's working families, who can't afford it, paying for that "priviledge" while their kids spend less days in more crowded classrooms led by the few teachers who won't be laid off? Call you legislator today at 1-800-978-2878 and tell them how outraged you are that the Republicans are doing the bidding of foreign corporations and working against Nevada's working families!

  3. Speak for yourself Mr. Hilton. I frankly am tired of the taxes. We have had two huge tax increases over the last two legislative sessions. Wasn't the billion dollar tax increase from 2009 enough for you? As a middle class working person I finally have a small sense that there is someone in Carson City (my reps. Mandendo and Oceguera not being in that group) that are looking out for me instead of the public employee unions.

  4. This isn't about you paying more taxes, unless you are one of those foreign minnig corporations. Why are the Republicans, who supposedly are SO patriotic, SO fast to make sure that Nevada's working fmailies pay more in taxes so foreign mining corporations can continue to pay NOTHING? If you are a middle class person, YOU ARE THE ONE GETTING THE SHAFT FROM THE REPUBLICANS! If you had been paying attention to the news, you would have seen that unions have been trying to preserve the small benefits for middle class workers such as teachers. Unions are not the problem Republicans cry about-only 11% of workers even BELONG to a union! You need to think about which side you are on, bb, because you are supporting those who would be happy to slit your throat so that foreign mining corporations can take your American tax money and run back to Canada or Europe.

  5. "Unions are not the problem Republicans cry about-only 11% of workers even BELONG to a union!" - WilliamHill

    That figure that gets thrown around so much is the combined membership for both the private and public sector unions. When you break it apart a *much* different picture emerges. Private sector union membership is at about 7% while public sector unions have close to 40% nationwide. It is much higher in a handful of states and only somewhat lower in others. So while private sector unions may not be a big problem, the public sector unions have a large impact on taxes.

    In terms of actual numbers, there are slightly more people in public sector unions than in private sector unions.

    You can find a lot of information here:

  6. >>When you break it apart a *much* different picture emerges. Private sector union membership is at about 7% while public sector unions have close to 40% nationwide. <<

    And, if that is true, it still is not the root of "evil" that the Repulicans claim. The unions are representing who-working people in this state. And the Republicans are representing who-the foreign mining corporations who will now CONTINUE to get tax money belonging to those same working Nevadans to take back to Canada or Europe! These foreign corporations get to write off MORE than the 5% net profits tax they are supposed to PAY the state-so their profits INCLUDE THE TAXES YOU PAY. But no, we should have less teachers, less police officers, shorter school years, so that these foreign corporations can take more and more of our tax money out of NEvada and our country. If this worries you, then call your legislator at 1-800-978-2878 and tell them so!

  7. 11% of the workers who belong to unions want 100% of us to pay their continuously expanding salary and benefits. Unions believe they should have their members hold public office and vote on their contracts.

    If left to their own honesty, Unions would have us pay 90% of our income to taxes and complain we are stealing 10% from them.


  8. The success of the Republican caucus in stopping all tax increases could be the begining of the end of Horsford and Oceguera's political careers.

    Horsford and Oceguera mismanaged their respective rolls as Majority leader and Speaker. They tried to bully their union supporting agenda through the legislature and demagogued their Republican counter parts. They disregarded the will of the majority of Nevadans who pay taxes and are not members of unions.

    This was after Horsford tried selling access to himself and all of his committee leaders for $25,000. Oceguera spent $35,000 of public funds for a private gym that goes unused.

    Coincidently their Democrat redistricting plan has been gerrymandered to give them the greatest possibility of winning a Congressional seat.

    UN-REAL !!

  9. Fine if you don't want to create a more equitable tax structure then leave the taxes where they are today but please Sandoval and the Republicans don't let the taxes passed in 2009 to expire. Those go directly into education and this state can't handle going further behind in educational spending and achievement. I am begging you as a parent and a Nevada to please just leave these taxes as they are. I am so frustrated that Nevadans have chosen short-term political rhetoric like no new taxes over long-term solutions.

  10. Mr. Hilton. You've got it right. I'm behind you 100%.

  11. What a travesty of decency, fairness, and democracy. We should have a public referendum on whether or not to more appropriately and more fairly impose taxes on the foreign mining companies that are stealing from the people of Nevada. Even major business leaders who actually do business in the state (as opposed to raping and pillaging the land for gold which get spirited away) have supported more taxes in a state that is near the bottom in everything including the taxation rate. Voters will not forget this tragic and blatant charade and will remember who supports and works for the people and who supports and works for corporate interests in the next election cycle! Perhaps a recall is in order.

  12. Legalize marijuana & tax it. Legalize protitution & tax it. Why are we letting all these "sales" go on off the books & tax free when we as a community are in such need? Use the extra tax revenue collected for our school districts & universities. This would also help with our over-populated jails & free up our police force.

  13. Actually the net result will be a lot fewer services and some inadequate services will be even worse and many local taxes will be raised so one might say that Sandoval has pushed for one of the largest tax increases in the history of Nevada. Let that be his epithet - "I increased taxes a lot when I fooled we the people into thinking I was a good guy."

  14. Finally, it looks like the Democrats are getting the message that we have to stop spending money we don't have.

  15. William u do understand that anything done to raise minning taxes will take 6yrs minnimum right. All this raising taxes on minning industry won't do anything to help the sittuation right now. So please untill there is a bill to start that ball rolling please stop with the minning and the foriegn gold sitch. The taxes they wanted was a farce from the start with no real chance or support. They need to focus on the task at hand and stop pandering to the left. The taxes have been raised 2 times already so far every chance they get they want to raise taxes. If every 2 years your taxes go up where is the upside of bringing or keeping your company here. There is no stability.

    No new taxes! They also should let the others sunset.