Gibbons tells builders no regrets over no new taxes |

Gibbons tells builders no regrets over no new taxes

Brian Duggan
FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2010 file photo, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons answers questions from reporters after delivering his state of the state speech in the Capitol building in Carson City, Nev. (AP Photo/Scott Sady, File)
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Gov. Jim Gibbons told members of the Builders Association of Western Nevada on Tuesday that he has no regrets about his no-new-taxes stance even if its unpopular.

“It may not be popular to say no new taxes, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to watch more people get laid off, I’ll be damned if I’m going to let businesses close their doors and go away,” Gibbons said. “This is why you hired me three and a half years ago.”

Gibbons and independent candidate Eugene “Gino” DiSimone were the only two gubernatorial candidates to address the crowd of about three dozen inside the Gold Dust West in Carson City.

Republican gubernatorial hopefuls U.S. judge Brian Sandoval and former North Las Vegas Mayor Michael Montandan as well as Democratic candidate Rory Reid, a former Clark County commissioner, were invited to the breakfast, organizers said.

Gibbons, who was elected in 2006, is facing an uphill battle to keep his seat as Nevada’s chief executive, according to polling data.

During Tuesday’s breakfast, Gibbons said because of a potential $3.4 billion budget shortfall looming over the 2011 Legislature, state government must shrink.

“It’s going to take everyone of us, from government to individuals and citizens alike, getting out of the wagon and pushing because this wagon has to be pushed up hill,” Gibbons said.

He said back when he first took office, his predecessor, Gov. Kenny Guinn, told Gibbons that he would take, ” take the second year of the biennial budget, multiply it by two and that’s my budget for next year,'” Gibbons said. “Well, ladies and gentlemen, my dog could do that…that doesn’t reflect the reality of today.”

DiSimone said he will detail his “economic stimulus” plan on May 16 in Minden.

“I can eliminate all taxes for small businesses that earn less than $100,000 a year,” he said, adding all new businesses that come to the state would not pay taxes for the first two years under his plan.

He said he could make Nevada, “the first tax-free state.”

Gibbons said talks of generating revenue for the state is “code” for a creating a state income tax.

“We’re losing because we’re constantly talking about this mythical new tax that is going to solve the problems of the state of Nevada,” he said.

“Who do you tax, who do you take it from,” he said, adding that taxing the mining industry won’t help balance the state budget because, “it won’t be long before the prices of gold drops again.”


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