Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada: Bridging the Gap: Building a Sound Tax System for the Silver StateITEP Work in Action
With such a deficient, upside-down structure, it is no accident that Nevada, a state blessed with great natural and financial resources, has in fifteen years slipped from 7th to 14th in per capita income among all states (and from 17th to 20th in median household income), or that it currently has the nation’s highest unemployment rate. Though a state’s fiscal policy is never the only factor behind its relative economic success or failure, and although investment bubbles and extractive industry windfalls, for example, can certainly mask significant weakness, sound tax structures have always formed the backbone of sound and stable state economies, especially in the long term when the public and private investment they trigger and sustain always pays off handsomely. Nevada has fallen behind precisely because it has resisted sound public finance and because it has continually shirked much of the basic fiscal responsibility that any prosperous, civilized people require. Nevada will fall further still if it continues to pretend that its population is yet small enough, that its one-time gaming monopoly will somehow return fully enough, or that another “better” real estate investment bubble will be good enough to carry it through the next century.