CARSON CITY — Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, said Tuesday that enough is enough.
Nevada gets back only 65 cents from every $1 its residents send in income taxes to the federal government and he intends to try to change that.
Parks announced during a Democrat news conference that he is preparing legislation to create an Office of Grant Procurement that would strive to secure more federal money for cash-strapped Nevada.
He added that Nevada now ranks 50th among the states in the percentage of funds that it receives back from the federal government. Gov. Brian Sandoval pitched a similar plan in his State of the State message in January.
While Parks offered few details on the office, he said it would more than pay for itself. He said he set up a similar grants office as Las Vegas city budget director 30 years ago.
"Our state needs to do a better job of getting money back," he said.
The Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C. tax research organization, in 2005 found Nevada got back 65 cents in federal spending for every dollar paid in federal income taxes. The foundation is updating the study now.
But in 2005, Nevadans paid $20.1 billion in taxes and the state received $14.1 billion in federal programs.
For most of the last 30 years, the Tax Foundation has found Nevada ranked near the bottom in its tax return. Only in 1986, when Nevada received 98 cents back for every $1, has the state come close to parity. That happened when Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., and a friend of President Ronald Reagan, was still in office.
The Tax Foundation has said Nevada’s low ranking generally comes from its status as a "donor" state with a high percentage of residents who fall in higher tax brackets, and thus pay more income taxes.