Updated November 9, 2017 - 2:00 am
Sen. Dean Heller wants to ensure the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium can issue tax-exempt bonds, despite his opposition to government-funded stadiums. GOP House leaders surprised Nevada officials by proposing to eliminate tax-exempt bonding for professional sports stadiums in the tax-reform plan they unveiled last week.
Heller made his comments while appearing Wednesday on Nevada Politics Today.
“I don’t think taxpayers should be paying for stadiums. Let’s get that clear,” said Heller. “Needless to say, I’m looking for an exemption for the Raiders’ stadium since that was already in the discussion.
“I certainly want to make sure that what’s in the books now, like the stadium we have in Las Vegas, is exempted out.”
Heller said he supports lowering the top tax bracket and thinks the Senate tax plan will include a lower top rate. The House tax bill keeps the top tax rate at 39.6 percent.
“The senate is looking at somewhere around 37 percent,” said Heller. “100 percent of Americans should see tax relief. If we’re going to do that, I think we should lower the tax bracket from 39.6 to 37 (percent).”
Heller also said he supported eliminating the tax for not having health insurance, better known as the individual mandate. He is worried some Republican senators would oppose such a proposal.
“Last year, 90,000 Nevadans — 80 percent of them making less than $50,000 a year — were fined because they couldn’t buy a product that the government was forcing them to buy,” said Heller. “I would support eliminating the individual mandate.
“I think we can get that passed through the Finance Committee.
“We’re going to have the same problem we had during the health care debate and that is our more moderate members were unwilling to support any kind of change in Obamacare.
“I don’t want to lose the bill over this topic.”
Heller said he would support an upcoming bill to enshrine the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program into law. In September, Trump announced that DACA would end in six months and that he wanted Congress to pass a constitutional version of the program. Then-president Barack Obama had instituted the program via executive mandate, but constitutional experts considered it vulnerable to a legal challenge.
“I’m going to support the DACA fix,” said Heller. “I’m going to push as hard as I can to make sure that there’s border security and an E-Verify system in there. I believe most of us in the majority believe the same way.
“It will be very difficult to have a clean DACA vote, but if that’s what we end up with at the end of the day, I certainly am going to support it.”
Facing a stiff primary challenge from businessman Danny Tarkanian, Heller tied himself to President Donald Trump.
“I was late to the party when it came to President Trump, but watching him, looking at his policies, working with him on his policies, I think I’ve been very strong and will continue to do so,” said Heller.
Heller also pledged to support the eventual Senate nominee, expressing confidence he’d be victorious over Tarkanian.
If it involves Nevada Politics, we’re talking about it on Nevada Politics Today. Join us every Thursday for a new episode on reviewjournal.com.