BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- It’s not easy getting a new tax passed in Nevada.
“It’s always been an extremely heavy lift to raise taxes, let’s be honest, and it’s supposed to be,” says Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey. “But nothing’s impossible, I suppose.”
Hickey is referring specifically to a new payroll tax proposed by Senate Democrats who are hoping to increase the coffers of Nevada’s underfunded and underperforming education system. They say the tax can generate an additional $310 million in revenue to fund their plans to boost K-12 education.
While not particularly effusive on the payroll tax, Hickey is semi-keen on Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick’s plan to tax entertainment, and also a fan of her willingness to collaborate with Republicans.
“Marilyn’s been working with us the entire session so I’m not closed to what she’s doing,” says Hickey of Kirkpatrick’s plan to tax a wide variety of entertainment and recreation activities, including movies. “She’s certainly getting some push back from golfers and movie goers and gym rats.”
But Hickey says that with an entertainment tax, the damage done to tax payers’ wallets is minimal.
“Those are things that are out of folks’ discretionary income,” says Hickey.
As for the payroll tax, Hickey says “Senator Denis’ tax really just ups the amount that is the modified business tax, and without using their own words against them, Democrats last session said that’s the worst tax in the world, and we ought to get rid of it. Now their only solution is to increase it.”