Monday, February 10, 2003

Art Laffer, call your office: Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller tells Carson City lawmakers he was never consulted about the impact a proposed 50-percent increase in corporate filing fees would have on tax collections. Guinn's budget proposal assumes the 50-percent fee hike would boost revenues by, well, 50 percent. The Nevada Resident Agent Association points out that after the 2001 Legislature increased fees by 30 percent, the growth of new business filings dropped from an annual rate of 12 percent to an increase of less than 1 percent in 2002. The recession played a role, undoubtedly. But mobile companies seek the lowest tax environment, and will locate their operations accordingly.

Similarly, Guinn's budget assumes that a tripling of the state's quarterly per-employee Business Activity Fee from $25 to $75 will cause those revenues to increase by (imagine that!) 300 percent -- from a projected $175 million in the next budget cycle to more than $510 million. Does the term "dynamic scoring" ring a bell?

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