Nevada is currently “facing a projected $3 billion deficit for the two-year budget cycle that begins July 1.” State legislators are wrangling with different ways to deal with the deficit, and efforts have been complicated by conservative leaders signing pledges to not raise taxes under any circumstances.
Appearing on KRNV-TV’s Nevada Newsmakers Monday, Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, (R-Eureka), broke with many of his conservative colleagues and admitted that the state is “going to have to have some revenues increased.”
However, instead of calling for taxes on the wealthiest Nevadans who can afford it, Goicoechea took aim at all Nevadans by advocating taxing food. “I believe that we should have had a 2 percent sales tax on food on the ballot this fall,” he told Newsmakers’ hosts. Local news station MY4News filed a report about Goicoechea’s comments. Watch it:
The minority leader’s suggestion comes at a time when food stamp usage in the stage has nearly doubled since 2008 and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans are relying on federal assistance just to be able to afford to eat.
As the Associated Press notes, taxing “food not intended for immediate consumption is banned by the Nevada Constitution.” Amending the constitution to allow for the food tax would “passage by voters in two successive general elections,” making it unlikely that Goicoechea’s plan would ever make it into law.