Guinn says tax credit proposal may be shortsighted | NevadaAppeal.com

Guinn says tax credit proposal may be shortsighted

BRENDAN RILEY

Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn said Tuesday an anti-tax lawmaker’s proposal for a rebate to taxpayers of part of a projected $320 million surplus may be shortsighted given many state budget demands.

“I’m in the process of looking at all the (budget) priorities now and I’m not so sure the senator is doing that,” Guinn said, responding to questions about the proposal by Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, to provide credits up to $100 on vehicle registration fees.

The Republican governor also said Beers’ proposal won’t be the only one seeking adjustments or reductions. He added it will be up to the 2005 Legislature to decide on such proposals – none of which are on his current list of top priorities.

Guinn’s top goals so far are to properly fund basic government operations, restore the state’s rainy day fund that’s used for fiscal emergencies, improve elementary schools and provide increases to doctors, nurses and others who provide health care services through state programs.

While Guinn’s developing spending plan for the next two fiscal years doesn’t include tax cuts at this point, it also doesn’t include any increases. He backed higher taxes in 2003, and lawmakers that year approved a record $833 million tax increase package.

Beers, a leader in the fight against the 2003 tax package, says the state Department of Motor Vehicles could return to taxpayers at least part of the $320 million tax surplus that Nevada is expected to have by next June.

Beers said the vehicle registration fee credits would be on every vehicle a person owns, and would be the most efficient way to reach the most taxpayers.

But Guinn said the proposal doesn’t seem to be fair because people with more than one car or truck would benefit more than others who have only one vehicle or who don’t have a car.

Other proposals have been floated to repeal or change a 2003 tax increase, but Beers’ plan is one of the first to identify a specific type of taxpayer credit or rebate. He said it could apply in the fiscal year starting July 1 and be available to individuals, not businesses.

The Department of Motor Vehicles reports there are 1.9 million cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and tent trailers registered in Nevada.