Author Archives: Josh Hicks

The Internet Tax

The Governor’s callfor the recent special session asked that the Legislature consider extending the use tax to online vendors.  The Legislature did not take action on this issue. Currently, online vendors without a nexus in Nevada are not required to remit sales or use taxes to Nevada and consequently the purchasers of goods from those vendors do not pay the tax either. The use tax in Nevada is commonly misunderstood in its application.  The use tax is a compliment to the sales tax.  The sales tax is due when tangible goods … Continue Reading »

Another Special Session?

One instance of action and one of inaction at the recent special session may be grounds for another special session in 2010.  At the session, the Governor and Legislature approved the transfer to the general fund of approximately $62 million from a fund designed to build a wastewater pipeline in Clark County in order to help with the budget crisis.  Now, multiple groups who have either paid into that fund or oversee that fund have filed lawsuits against the state to prevent the transfer of those funds.  Jon Ralston has … Continue Reading »

Tax Amnesty

The recent legislative special session resulted in some good news for Nevada taxpayers in the form of a tax amnesty program to be implemented this summer.  Details are below: Nevada Taxpayers Receive Relief from Penalties and Interest on Outstanding Taxes On March 12, 2010, the Governor of Nevada signed Assembly Bill 6. One section of the bill enacts a new tax amnesty program in Nevada, allowing for the waiver of all penalties and interest on certain outstanding Nevada tax liabilities in exchange for full payment of the tax due. Applications … Continue Reading »

The Battle Over the IFC

Today the Governor vetoed Senate Bill 3 from the special session.  SB 3 addressed employee furloughs and related subjects.  One section of the bill required exemptions to the furlough program to be approved by the Interim Finance Committee (IFC).  The veto message specifically cited to that section as part of the rationale for the veto, noting that the Legislature was giving “itself authority to administer and execute the law in violation of the separation of powers provision in the Nevada Constitution.” This is not the first constitutional clash between the … Continue Reading »

The Fiscal Crystal Ball

Yesterday I attended the annual Nevada Taxpayers Association luncheon in Las Vegas.  The keynote speaker was renowned economic forecaster Dr. John Silva of Wells Fargo.  Other panelists included Jeremy Aguerro from Applied Analysis, Bill Anderson from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Kevin McCarthy of the Arizona Taxpayers Association, David Kline of the California Taxpayers Association and Dale Craymer of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association. Dr. Silva pained a fairly optimistic economic picture for Nevada, opining that while Nevada remains in a recession and will likely be … Continue Reading »

The Dust Settles on the Special Session

Early this morning the Legislature concluded its 26th special session.  In a showing of bi-partisanship and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches, elected officials enacted a series of fixes (many of which are temporary) in an attempt to shore up the general fund budget deficit for the current biennium. The major components of the plan, including spending reductions, have been comprehensively covered in the mainstream media.  Here are a few of the other aspects of the plan, including what ended up in the plan and what was proposed but … Continue Reading »

One Minute to Midnight

As I’ve discussed in earlier posts, there is a long-running legal dispute between executive and legislative lawyers about whether the Governor has the authority to set an end time for a special session.  The issue has never come to a head in Nevada, although there is an Attorney General’s opinion to the Guinn administration opining that the Governor can in fact declare a time by which the Legislature must adjourn.  But the issue has not been tested in court. Today, the Governor released an amended proclamation on the special session, adding several agenda items for consideration, … Continue Reading »

Poll Shows Angry and Frustrated Voters

A new poll from renowned national pollster Glen Bolger shows that Nevada voters are generally dissatisfied with their government and are looking for change. 37% of those involved in the poll described themselves as Republican, 42% as Democrat, and 18% as independent or tending to lean towards one of the parties.  Interestingly however, when asked if they would vote for the Republican or Democrat running in their legislative district, 34% picked the Republican and only 28% picked the Democrat (with the rest generally undecided). 80% said that the situation in Nevada “has … Continue Reading »

Ratcheting Up the Risk Factor

When it comes to fixing budget deficits, there are three primary methods:  reducing ongoing operational expenses;  digging into contingency savings;  and increasing revenue.  In 2008, the State swept many contingency accounts to react to the budget shortfall (including the largest, the rainy day fund), and those accounts were not replenished in 2009.  The proclamation for the special session to begin on Tuesday lists further sweeps of contingency accounts.  While the Governor and Legislature continue to seek funding sources to solve the immediate short-term budget problem, doing so exposes the State … Continue Reading »

Some Observations on the Call for the Special Session

Earlier today Governor Gibbons issued a proclamation calling the Legislature into a special session beginning at 9:00 a.m. on February 23, 2010.  Without rehashing everything contained therein, I did note some interesting aspects of the proclamation. 1.  No specific ending time and date is set for the session.  In the two special sessions in 2008, a specific ending time and date was established in the proclamation itself. 2.  There is no express prohibition on the consideration of new or increased taxes.  Of course, both the Governor and legislative leaders have said that taxes are off … Continue Reading »