Richard Brian / Special to the Sun
Friday, May 1, 2009 | 2:44 p.m.
- To be clear, Gibbons is against tax increase (5-1-2009)
- Gibbons to propose more salary cuts, says he’ll veto tax hikes (4-30-09)
- Lawmakers eye county dough (4-30-2009)
- Gibbons to propose more salary cuts, says he'll veto tax hikes (4-30-2009)
- County's taxable sales tumble 19.6 percent in February (4-30-2009)
Beyond the Sun
Gov. Jim Gibbons brought his anti-tax campaign to Clark County today with a visit to a Henderson boating and recreation equipment store, where he said an increase in taxes would be detrimental to the success of small businesses.
“Taxes do one thing: they suppress an economy,” Gibbons said, echoing the sentiment he expressed during a news conference Thursday in Carson City. “When we increase business taxes as is being suggested by the Legislature, we’re taking money away from this business and every employee here.”
Speaking from inside ProShop Motorsports and Marine on Lake Mead Parkway, the governor said the store is just one of many small businesses across the state that would suffer under an increase in taxes.
“My goal is to balance this state budget without harming small businesses around the state of Nevada,” he said.
In agreement with Gibbons, shop owner Dan Boyle said any increase in taxes would take a deeper cut into his slimming profits.
“The amount of money coming out of my store and going to the state in sales taxes is far more than what we earn in a net profit for the store,” he said. “The state is a great silent partner -- they’re taking a lot and they want to take more. At some point you’ve got to say that’s not going to work.”
Boyle said sales at the store are down 30 to 40 percent since last summer and increased sales taxes would drive away even more customers.
“Our plea with the governor is, let’s hold off on sales taxes, let’s balance the budget, cut expenses, do whatever, but to raise prices in a downward economy is not going to work, it's not going to help and it will hurt a lot of small businesses,” Boyle said.
The governor’s visit to Henderson was a follow-up to his address in Carson City in which he attacked members of the Legislature for adding back some of his proposed budget cuts — about $72 million so far, out of a $6.1 billion budget.
“When you start adding back expenditures like the Legislature is doing, they’re digging that hole deeper,” Gibbons said today. “They’re making it harder for us to bridge and balance the budget. I’m telling them stop digging.”
Gibbons repeatedly used Boyle’s business as an example of how Nevada’s residents could suffer under the tax increases being discussed by the Legislature.
Boyle said although he hasn’t been forced to lay off any of his staff, he didn’t hire any seasonal workers this year and he has cut some full-time employees down to part-time.
Boyle said he thinks that the state can find a way to balance the budget without raising taxes.
“I think the government takes plenty of money, and I can attest to that because I write the check every month,” Boyle said. “How they spend it is up to the politicians.
“The problem is that they think that when sales go down, they can just raise the tax rate and get more money out of the economy. When nobody’s buying anything it doesn’t matter. We need to keep people employed and get people back to feeling like there’s some good times ahead.”
Gibbons said that instead of raising taxes, the state could use its green energy sources to help rebuild the economy.
“We’re going to build our way out of it by going to our renewable green energy,“ he said.
“My goal, my vision, is to turn Nevada into a renewable energy exporting state. Much as some states like Alaska, Texas, Louisiana are exporting fossil fuel, I want green, renewable energy to be Nevada’s export.”