Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Legislature Gunning For Media Now

After I blogged about how the Legislature could find $800,000+ by eliminating its government handout to the likes of small government advocate and publisher Sherman Frederick and free counties from having to print the property tax rolls each year, I heard from State Sen. David Parks.

He wrote me to say he's going to toss the idea into the mix. He tried twice as an assemblyman to eliminate this corporate welfare deal and it made it through both houses in 2009 before Frederick called Gov. Gibbons for a favor, as documented by Jon Ralston last year. Wroth Parks:

"We should put the repeal of property rolls on if we can find a bill that has a nexus. That will be more difficult and it has to be with something that the governor won’t veto."

But wait! There's more! Parks also noted that newspapers in Nevada enjoy a sales tax exemption on ink and newsprint. He'd like to see that undone as well this week as legislators try to scare up $887 million to fill a monster budget gap in the special session.

Now, I'm not so sure I like that. Printing the tax rolls is a completely unnecessary exercise. Ink and paper are important and the media is already in a tough spot financially. One is a gen-u-ine guvment payoff, the other is an effort to help a critical industry do its job and stay solvent. Such sales tax deductions are common; an effort to kill it in Colorado, where it amounted to about $10 million in savings, failed earlier this month. So it's not that much money anyway, seeing how Colorado is double the population and the circulation of its leading paper, the Denver Post, is probably larger than the circulation of all Nevada daily newspapers combined. Our sales tax rate, however, is a lot higher.

That said, it looks like Sherm Frederick is going to have to hire back on his expensive lobbyists, ask toady Nevada Press Association Executive Director Barry Smith to trot out fresh pile of steaming bullshit and get his pal Gibbons on speed-dial. And when the R-J Editorial Board endorses our Love Guv in the GOP primary, you'll know why! Read between the lines of their blather about how he did his best to "shrink government" and you'll see the invisible words "except when it came to our gravy train, which he graciously kept intact."

Speaking of which, David Parks is running this year for Clark County Commission, so taking on the R-J's government payoff is pretty brave. The R-J editorial board has praised his fiscal discipline many times over the years, but they only meant it when it was cutting somebody else's perks.


Anonymous said...

Wonder why he didn't propose to eliminate NRS 372.734 (kissing Jim Roger ass you suppose)?

"Certain broadcasting activities not taxable transactions. In administering the provisions of this chapter, the Department shall not consider the activities of persons that are directly related to the process of transmitting radio, television, cable television, video or data signals, including the transmission of news or information by video or data signal, the transmission of signals from one broadcaster to another and from a broadcaster to a member of the public and including the production and airing of any form of speech or broadcast by radio or television, whether or not compensation is provided to the broadcaster in connection therewith, to be transactions that are taxable pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(Added to NRS by 1993, 2744; A 2007, 1390)"

I think they have an equal protectionproblem since they are trying to punish one form of meia over another.

Also, if they remove the exemption the RJ will simly file a resale certificate and pass the cost along to consumers, who approved the exmeption in 1970. Suppose the Legislature can repeal without a vote of th people? Might be worth asking, Steve.