Posts Tagged ‘Elliott Parker’

Assemblyman Asks Lawmakers To Put “Cards On The Table” In Forum Today

By Andrew Doughman | 12:47 pm April 18th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Sparks, is asking other legislators to “lay your cards on the table.”

As the budget debate in Carson City roils to no discernible conclusion, Hickey is bringing 21 lawmakers, business leadersa and academics to the Legislature to talk taxes and government reform.

“This forum will help get out into the open things that have only been talked about behind closed doors,” Hickey said. “As moderator, I plan to press participants to speak openly about the ‘end game’ here this session.”

That end game has traditionally involved closed door meetings between legislative leadership.

Hickey will moderate the “Recession, Revenues and Nevada’s Recovery” panel today between 3 – 5 p.m. at the Legislature. Viewers online can watch here.

Hickey said he would like to have a serious discussion in public that could evolve into legislative negotiations about the budget.

At the very least, the diversity of voices at the forum should provide an interesting sideshow to the day-in, day-out legislative hearings and committees.

Speaking at the forum span nearly every position on the tax debate. Politically, Hickey’s guests span the spectrum from left to right and include representatives from unions and contractors, free-market libertarians and progressive groups, chambers of commerce and school districts.

Hickey’s forum is not the only change in the legislative end game.

This year, Democratic leaders in the Assembly and Senate have said they will conduct budget hearings in the Assembly and Senate chambers. They say the move will lead to more transparency and include more legislators in budget discussions.

As first reported in the Las Vegas Sun, the change could prompt legislators toward a budget battle over education.

The Legislature has 49 days remaining to conclude its session, pass a budget and finish the drawing of political districts as required every 10 years by the U.S. Census.

 

Panelists for the “Recession, Revenues and Nevada’s Recovery” include:

Heidi Gansert, the governor’s chief of staff

Speaker Pro Tempore Debbie Smith, D-Sparks

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas

Tray Abney, Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce

Carole Vilardo – Nevada Taxpayers Association

Dr. Elliott Parker – UNR economist

Clara Andriola – Associated Builders and Contractors

Geoffrey Lawrence – Nevada Policy Research Institute economist

Dr. Heath Morrison – Washoe County School District superintendent

Mary Lau – Retail Association of Nevada

Dr. Tyrus Cobb – former assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Neil Medina – Northern Nevada Contractor

Jim Pfrommer – Education Alliance of Washoe County

Former Sen. Randolph Townsend

Assemblyman Crescent Hardy, R-Mesquite

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks

Bob Fulkerson, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

Chuck Muth – Citizen Outreach

Dave Humke – Washoe County Commissioner

Danny Thompson – AFL-CIO union representative

Norm Dianda – Q&D Construction

Assembly Republican Suggests Tax Reform Debate

By Andrew Doughman | 10:46 am March 8th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Reno, says he is interested in changing the state’s tax structure.

He wrote in a weekly newsletter he might consider broadening the state’s tax base, an idea that he has talked about with UNR economics professor Elliott Parker.

“The good professor understands scientifically what we all know intuitively – that the golden goose of gaming in Nevada will never again lay the same revenue egg that the Silver State has enjoyed for so long,” Hickey wrote. “Parker’s proposal for a small tax on the state’s new service economy – is worthy of serious consideration.”

Parker has suggested that the new tax could be coupled with a corresponding decrease in the sales tax. This would prevent the government from collecting more revenue. In theory, it would spread the tax burden around to a greater number of sectors.

“These kinds of revenue-neutral but long-term sensible approaches might attract members of the GOP to the table,” Hickey wrote.

Parker has written several editorials during the past months. He has advocated for more government spending rather than cuts, and has equated budget cuts to the Donner Party cannibalizing itself.

“If the Legislature passes a tax on services, but delays it for a couple of years, this would give us time to figure out how to best collect it, and we would avoid raising taxes during the depths of Nevada’s depression,” Parker wrote. “If we borrow against this future revenue to fill the current gap, we are just smoothing out when we spend it. We would not have to repay from moneys we won’t have, and not risk our credit rating.”

Hickey said the professor’s specific, revenue-neutral approach would fit into the Assembly Republican’s list of goals for the session.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute, a free-market think tank, has also advocated for a similar change in the state’s tax structure. They claim it would spread the tax burden around, although some disagree that it would be revenue neutral.

Hickey said he will not be introducing a bill for a tax on services with a provision for a reduction in the sales tax.

He said the proposal is worth “considering” and “discussing” during this legislative session.

The Legislature is 30 days into its 120-day session, and deadlines are fast approaching for lawmakers to submit bills.