There’s no doubt that government at all levels wastes mounds of taxpayer dollars every year. It’s frustrating, and becomes even more so when elected officials go back to the public’s pockets seeking more cash.
But it’s a little easier to swallow when legislators work to broaden the tax base and give tax policy more clarity. Nevada state Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick and state Sen. Mark Lipparelli did just that in the 2015 Legislature, and earned national recognition for doing so.
Each year, the Tax Foundation hands out its Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform awards to worthy legislators, governors and others. The honors are based on successful efforts to reform taxes by making them simpler, neutral, transparent and pro-growth. For their efforts in cleaning up the state’s Live Entertainment Tax, Ms. Kirkpatrick, a Democrat representing North Las Vegas, and Mr. Lipparelli, a Las Vegas Republican, were among just 10 honorees nationwide.
The Tax Foundation said the two legislators’ work broadened the base, eliminated arbitrary and confusing carveouts, and improved administration of the tax. The organization added that Ms. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Lipparelli conducted considerable outreach to the public and stakeholders, allowing the simpler, lower LET to gain overwhelming bipartisan support.
The new law replaced Nevada’s confusing live entertainment tax with a uniform 9 percent admissions tax, imposed on ticket sales to venues where an admission is charged and a performance is provided. Further, it eliminated the carveout for events such as the Electric Daisy Festival and Burning Man.
Efforts at tax reform should always go this well, but taxpayers have to take their few victories where they can get them. Plaudits to Ms. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Lipparelli for the national recognition of their work.