CARSON CITY — A research group announced Thursday a new report that it says shows how the state’s politicians have secretly increased the tax burden on Nevada residents over the past three decades.
The study, issued by the Nevada Policy Research Institute, is called “Getting Plucked in Nevada: How Government Covertly Increases Your Tax Burden.”
“Tax-consuming special interests in the state have successfully stripped away much of the state’s unique taxpayer-friendly heritage,” said author Steven Miller, the institute’s vice president for policy.
Miller said the study shows how Nevada political leaders have increased the tax burden and eroded Nevada’s status as a safe haven from higher taxes that have been imposed elsewhere.
According to the study, Nevadans’ state and local tax burden as a percentage of income was 8.6 percent in 1980. By this year it had risen to 10.1 percent, an increase overall of 17.4 percent.
One of what Miller calls the most dubious examples of Nevada tax policy is the 1981 “tax shift,” in which homeowners were given reductions in their property taxes in exchange for hikes in sales and other taxes.
After a few years had passed, however, the property tax burden was higher than before the shift while all the other taxes also were much higher, Miller said.
The report also focuses on how many of Nevada’s taxes are misleadingly labeled as “fees.”
Miller said one answer to this escalation in taxes is more transparency on spending and taxation for taxpayers.ON THE WEB:
Full report (.pdf)