CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons today blamed Nevada’s unemployment growth in July on legislators who approved $780 million in tax increases over his vetoes.
“I warned them against raising taxes,” Gibbons said after a state Board of Examiners meeting.
He said it made no sense to hit business owners with high taxes at a time when they are struggling because of the recession.
Nevada unemployment in July reached a record 12.5 percent, including a 13.1 percent rate in Clark County.
Unemployment in the state now is third highest in the nation behind Michigan and Rhode Island.
The unemployment rate climbed 0.5 percentage points from June, the last month before the tax increases went into effect July 1. The July rate is almost twice as high as the 6.7 percent unemployment in July 2008.
Also, state Budget Director Andrew Clinger said that because of the continuing recession, state tax receipts now are $31.6 million short of the estimates made by the Economic Forum in May.
Gibbons said he won’t know before November whether he will have to call a special legislative session of the Legislature to deal with the shortfall. By then, taxes paid on a quarterly basis will have been received, and he will know if the shortfall has gotten any worse.
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