Study finds Nevada has one of most regressive tax systems

CARSON CITY — A national study released today concludes that Nevada has one of the most regressive tax systems in the country largely because it does not levy a personal income tax.

"The state has a pretty straightforward set of options," said Matthew Gardner, who authored the "Who Pays?" study for the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy. "The most obvious button Nevada is not pushing is a personal income tax."

Gardner's study found the poorest 20 percent of Nevadans — those earning less than $21,000 a year — paid 8.9 percent of their incomes in 2007 on state and local taxes. But the top 1 percent earners — those with incomes of at least $574,000 a year — paid just 1.6 percent in state and local taxes.

In a conference call from Washington, D.C., Gardner said taxing systems in Nevada and throughout the United States are regressive, or "upside down," meaning the more people earn, the lower percentage of their incomes they pay in state and local taxes.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901.