No new taxes: The math behind the Governor's pledge

No new taxes: The math behind the governor's pledge

Wednesday night as he unveiled his agenda and his proposed budget, Gov. Steve Sisolak, D-Nevada, said this during his state of the state address in Carson City:

“Nevada's economic growth happened under our current revenue structure, and as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s why this budget is presented without any new taxes.”

The Governor repeated himself, just to make sure the Republicans and Democrats in the Assembly chamber got the point.

The budget Steve Sisolak unveiled this week spends $8.8 billion.

His no new taxes pledge is made possible by a healthy economy - which means millions more coming in from the sales tax and other sources- and by keeping two taxes that were supposed to be reduced or redirected in place.

Keeping those two taxes as they are, the modified business tax and the governmental services tax will allow Governor Sisolak to spend $138 million more in the 2019-2021 biennium.

Hence, no new taxes.

“I think we were happy and pleased to hear that he doesn't propose raising taxes or any new taxes,” Assemblywoman Melissa Hardy, R-Henderson, told me Wednesday night.

The budget Sisolak unveiled is expansive: it spends billions more on health care, billions more on schools and millions on raises: state workers and teachers get a 3% bump, which sounds pretty good to Eldorado High School math teacher Doug Self.

“This is my 1st year teaching. And I've been a submarine officer. I've run hospitals. And being a teacher basically is the hardest job I've had so far,” Self told me in his classroom.

He's taken quite the pay cut to do what he loves. That raise, he says, will come in handy for him and anyone else who wants to go into a classroom.

“If they want to take the plunge and come to teaching that the pay decrease wouldn't be so bad,” Self says.

He's just one person the Governor's budget would help.

The plan, from a Democratic Governor--now goes before an Assembly and Senate with Democratic majorities.

“We're not gonna agree on everything, that's not what this process is supposed to be. But we agreed to communicate, collaborate when we can and make sure we're on the same page when we can, and we'll agree to disagree when we have to,” says Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Clark County.

The discussion starts February 4, for a legislative session that runs four months.

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