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GOP rejects Democrat plan

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Republican leaders and the governor’s office followed the unveiling of the Democrat’s revenue proposals almost immediately with statements making it clear they have no intention of supporting tax increases in the current economy.

Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement saying higher taxes in the current economy would be a mistake.

“Nevada is just beginning to demonstrate signs of economic recovery and this proposal would being job growth to a halt at a time when we have proven that growing our way out of this crisis can address our budgetary needs,” he said.

“Raising taxes is a decision that ignores the economic reality that Nevada faces,” said Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka. “We are focused on providing as sensible approach to meet the needs of the state. Raising taxes is not the answer.”

Assemblyman Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, said the caucus supports directing any additional revenue that becomes available to K-12 and higher education.

The statement says the Assembly Republican caucus opposes any tax increases.

Senate Republicans also objected saying they are “gravely concerned that the proposed taxes, including a brand new tax specifically targeting business, will have a chilling effect on Nevada’s ability to emerge form the ongoing economic recession.”

But Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, offered a potential bargaining chip: “Senate Republicans look forward to exploring the Democratic leadership’s willingness to implement reforms to public employee collective bargaining, public employee benefits, teacher tenure and seniority, construction defects and prevailing wage.”

His statement said those reforms “would dramatically increase the ability of local governments to balance their own budgets.”

“Overall, Senate Republicans believe the governor proposed a reasonable and responsible approach to balancing the state’s budget without raising taxes,” the statement says.

Altogether, it concludes, the governor has proposed adding back some $400 million to offset some of the most onerous cuts to critical human services and education.