Las Vegas Sun

January 30, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Tax problem starts with Legislature

A wrong-headed Legislature forces local government to make wrong-headed decisions. Where’s King Solomon when you need him?

The “More Cops” sales tax increase offers a choice: add more taxes that will financially impact the poor more than others or deplete an existing fund faster.

This problem goes beyond a simple sales tax issue. Years ago, the Legislature put a cap on how fast property taxes can rise, 3 percent for owner-occupied housing and 8 percent for rentals. Poorer people usually rent and are the least able to pay the 8 percent increases. You can bet rental property owners are passing along any property tax increase.

Also, the Legislature has increased the fuel tax. This is a fool’s errand with more and more tax legislation chasing fewer and fewer gas guzzlers. The poor are the most likely to drive guzzlers.

The more rational way to tax is to move the cops and fuel tax into the property tax while reducing sales taxes (maybe the Strip can be exempt from any reductions). Everyone benefits from transportation infrastructure and transportation subsidies, even if they walk to work or take a bus.

What we really need is a right-headed Legislature or local control over these matters.

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