He went through the state ledgers line by line and, applying some basic principles and setting a few reasonable priorities, came up with a proposed budget of $5.1 billion. Which, unlike the budget proposed by the Nevada legislature, stays within our current revenue projections.
Oh, wait, that’s right: the state legislature still has not released their budget for public discussion. Even though they’ve been meeting up in Carson City for months.
Said a legislator who asked not to be named, “I mean, come ON, guys. This stuff is, like, really hard.”
Says Geoffrey Lawrence, the fiscal expert at NPRI who put the proposed budget together, ”The reason the legislature and governor haven’t been able to balance the budget is that they’ve been unable or unwilling to set priorities.”
Now we wait to hear what the Economic Forum has to say. We expect they will project lower tax-revenue than previously anticipated. And that lawmakers will then propose record or near-record tax increases.
If they do, remind them of the four basic principles that provided the basis for NPRI’s budget: sensible prioritizing, consistent application of government rules and taxes, agency thrift, and “last in, first out” (the elimination of some programs created and funded by Nevada’s record 2003 tax increases – which never should have happened).