I wonder, should I just make this a continuing series?
In last week’s column, I tried to put the never-ending campaign to raise your taxes in a cumulative perspective. You’ll get periodic reports in the media of specific tax plans, but seldom will you see all of those proposals in one long list.
If even some of them become law, it’s a big hit to your wallet. Or your employer’s wallet. Or the bottom line of the businesses you frequent. If all of them were approved, well, you might as well turn out the lights on this economy.
So here are yet more tax proposals, some of which have taken the form of bills in the Nevada Legislature, some of which have merely been suggested in public. Some of them already have been defeated — but rest assured, they’ll be revived at a later date.
— A plan to double the state’s mining tax could go before voters in 2014. It would net the state hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for schools (assuming the commodities markets don’t collapse).
— Clark County voters will decide in 2014 whether to extend a property tax stream that funds the county Fire Department. A no vote would mean a property tax cut — yippee! — and perhaps less sick leave and overtime for our esteemed firefighters.
— The Las Vegas City Council was briefed a few weeks back on their options to boost revenues, including a property tax increase and increased fees for Municipal Court, business licenses, sports field usage, recreation, community centers, pools, jail beds rented by other governments, emergency medical transports, parking and building and safety inspections.
— Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, proposed a $25 tax on gun purchases and a 2-cent-per-round tax on ammunition. The idea was shot down (for now).
But wait! There’s more!
— Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, got on the fat tax bandwagon by proposing a new levy on fast food. Considering such taxes are winning support elsewhere, it’s just a matter of time before it becomes law in Nevada.
— A bill to raise Justice Court fees has passed the Assembly.
— The Assembly passed a bill that would allow school boards to impose a $2 per month, per housing unit tax to bolster vocational education budgets.
— Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce, D-Las Vegas, will never stop proposing a corportate income tax as long as she’s in office.
— Lawmakers have proposed imposing a vehicle tax on Nevada workers who live in neighboring states, which would force them to register their vehicles in two states.
I could go on and on. Almost 100 bills introduced in Carson City would increase taxes or fees in Nevada, create new taxes or fees, impose new or higher civil or criminal penalties, or require more people to pay existing taxes or fees. And there’s still more than a month left in the session.
Let’s not forget our masters in Washington, who have their own never-ending list of requests for more of your money. In just the past few weeks, we’ve seen President Barack Obama propose another increase in the estate tax — after signing off on a permanent increase in this year’s “fiscal cliff” compromise. And Congress was debating the imposition of state Internet sales taxes.
No government will ever have enough of your money. Ever. When the economy is growing, politicians and special interests complain that “growth doesn’t pay for growth,” and they demand more and higher taxes.
When the economy contracts, they argue that government services (and above-market public employee salaries and benefits) are too important to be cut back, and they demand more and higher taxes.
I’m still waiting for anyone who demands higher taxes to tell me what amount would be enough to provide me and everyone else with all the government we could possibly need. What percentage of my paycheck should I be willing to surrender on the condition that government would never ask for more? 55 percent? 70 percent? No answer.
Remember that the next time you learn of a plan to increase your taxes.
Glenn Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Review-Journal editorial writer. Follow him on Twitter: @Glenn_CookNV. Listen to him Mondays at 4 p.m. on “Live and Local with Kevin Wall” on KXNT News Radio, 100.5 FM, 840 AM.