Politics & Policy

Candidates for Governor: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Taxes

Both Rory Reid and Brian Sandoval, the leading candidates for governor, have said they absolutely, positively will not support a tax hike in order to solve the state’s budget deficit, but state senator Steven Horsford (D) begged to differ in a much-publicized interview this week. Horsford said a combination of cuts and taxes and fees will be needed:

There has to be some combination of spending reductions and revenue to balance the budget,” he said. “It should be almost a dollar-for-dollar equation.

In a recent Q&A with the Las Vegas Sun, the two candidates for the state’s highest executive office were asked whether there were any circumstances under which they would consider raising taxes or renewing the taxes that are set to expire next year. Both said no:

Rory Reid: Now is not the time to raise taxes on Nevada families. People are hurting, with unemployment and foreclosures at an all-time high, and we can’t aggravate the situation further by taking money out of families’ pockets. However, I will not cut education further because strong schools are the key to building a better economic future and attracting new jobs.

Sandoval: No. I believe that raising taxes is exactly the wrong thing to do. As a former judge, I look at the evidence, and nowhere have I seen any evidence that raising taxes creates jobs. Kudos to the Sun for asking about the expiring tax increases as well. Remember that extending a tax increase is … a tax increase.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute, a conservative think tank, waxed skeptical about these answers and suggested on its blog that readers should bookmark the interview for reference during the upcoming legislative session. The stark contrast between Horsford’s remarks and the official policy position of the Reid and Sandoval campaigns was also noted today by columnist Jon Ralston. He questioned the candor of the two candidates and said both should publicly pledge that their “no taxes” promises will, if broken, result in immediate resignation.

Rory, who declined to comment on Horsford’s remarks this week, was also ridiculed by the Republican Governor’s Association:

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