CARSON CITY — Nineteen Nevadans were nominated Monday to serve as members of a "stakeholder" group that will recommend plans to improve the quality of life in the state, but critics have said they will favor tax increases.
Among those nominated by a legislative subcommittee were retired Assembly Speaker Joe Dini, D-Yerington; Alan Feldman, senior vice president for public affairs for MGM Mirage, and Keith Smith, president of Boyd Gaming Corp.
The group will work with a company, likely Moody’s Analytics, which will be chosen Thursday to study state taxes.
Its recommendations, due in July, will be considered in the 2011 Legislature.
In the resolution for the tax study, legislators told the chosen firm to "review proposals for broad-based taxes which are fair and equitable." The stakeholders group was told to "develop a quality of life vision" for the next 20 years.
Moody’s submitted a bid of $253,000 to conduct the tax study. The Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee is expected Thursday to approve that bid and finalize members of the stakeholder group.
Critics complained that it is a done deal the study will conclude state government should increase taxes.
Geoff Lawrence, a fiscal policy analyst with the Nevada Policy Research Institute, said that none of the stakeholder members is a "taxpayers advocate."
"It looks to me like the bulk are public employees or union representatives, along with gaming and mining representatives," he said. "It’s predictable. The public employees and union representatives likely will advocate more funding to them. The mining and gaming representatives will make sure someone else is paying."
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.