Reid spokesman disputes Nevada gets less than fair share |

Reid spokesman disputes Nevada gets less than fair share

A spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., says claims Nevada gets only 67 cents for every dollar it sends to the federal government are wrong.

Those numbers have been used by Reid’s opponents in the upcoming U.S. Senate election. They have charged that he is failing to bring Nevada’s fair share of federal tax money back to the state.

Jon Summers of Reid’s campaign staff said data from the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Census Bureau show Nevada actually got back 97 cents for every dollar the state sent to Washington, D.C., in 2008.

He said according to the IRS, Nevadans sent more than $17.7 billion in taxes to the federal government that year and, according to the Census Bureau, got back $17.26 billion.

Summers said Reid’s power as majority leader is more than making up for the three-cent gap, bringing the state more than $250 million in funding earmarked for specific projects. According to the group Taxpayers for Common Sense, Reid secured more earmarks for Nevada than the rest of the state’s congressional delegation combined.

Summers said that, according to a new report from the Brookings Institute, Nevada gets a smaller share of federal funds than some other states because of policy decisions made in Carson City by the governor and Legislature.

For example, according to that report, Nevada’s Medicaid and other health programs receive just $315 per capita compared to $892 per capita for other states because that money comes in the form of matching funds. The state’s tough eligibility requirements and refusal to participate in options available for programs such as Medicaid are the reason the state doesn’t receive more federal money there.