Business Group Sees Tax Hike On Horizon, Opposes Idea Of Major Overhaul Of Nevada Revenue Structure

CARSON CITY – The head of Nevada’s Retail Association says a tax increase will likely be needed to balance the state budget next year, and expanding the sales tax to include at least some services is one place to look.

But Mary Lau, president and chief executive officer of the Retail Association of Nevada, said it is not the time for Nevada policymakers to look at a major revamping of the state’s tax structure.

“To try to switch an entire tax system, I will agree with the people that were polled, it is not the time to do an entire tax restructuring or anything else because guess what, the other states that have those other programs are equally in trouble,” she said.

Lau made her comments during an interview Monday with Jon Ralston on the Face To Face television program. She was interviewed following the Retail Association’s release of a poll conducted on behalf of the group looking at Nevada political races and the public’s views on issues including whether taxes should be increased.

The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies pollster Glen Bolger.

The poll shows that only 1 percent of those interviewed support a tax increase on small business, 5 percent support a tax increase on large businesses, 11 percent on casinos, 5 percent on mining companies, 12 percent on the rich and 1 percent on the middle class. Seventeen percent said taxes should be raised on everyone.

Support for raising taxes on everyone was lower than in previous polls however.

Lau said the change is a reflection of the current economy.

“A reflection of we don’t have a job, we don’t have any money therefore how are we going to pay,” she said.

Lau said a tax increase, even if it is only the continuation of a package of revenues hiked by the Legislature in 2009 and scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2011, is likely. The state budget cannot be balanced without a tax increase, she said.

There are areas the state hasn’t taxed, such as services, Lau said. An examination of tax abatements and exclusions the Legislature has put in place over the years is also needed, she said.

Both major party candidates for governor have rejected the idea of tax increases to balance the state budget, although many legislative leaders have said new revenues will likely be necessary.

Lau agreed that a discussion of taxes won’t come until after the Legislature first looks at reforms and efficiencies in state spending.

Audio clips:

Retail Association Chief Mary Lau says now is not the time to revamp Nevada’s tax structure:

092810Lau1 :12 equally in trouble.”

Lau says the economy has dampened public support for a tax increase:

092810Lau2 :11 to sound bites.”

Lau says taxing services and eliminating exemptions is one place for Legislature to look for new revenue:

092810Lau3 :05 of the services.”

  • http://nevadanewsbureau.com michael

    what a bunch of crap. admit truth, declare bankruptcy, fire all gov. employees, RE-HIRE at private sector compensation and THIS WILL SAVE 2 BILLION DOLLARS IN THE NEXT BUDGET and OMG it is fair and honest
    Want to save ANOTHER 2 billion in the same time frame, IT IS SPEND ON ILLEGAL ALLIENS in Nevada
    OMG the billion dollar hotel/casinos need to be protected from their criminal activity of sneaking illegals onto their payrolls