Chamber study: Broaden tax base, but no profits or gross receipts taxes

Nevada could improve the tax structure by broadening the sales tax and payroll tax and reforming its property tax, but not by approving a new gross receipts or corporate profits tax, according to a new study by The Tax Foundation paid for by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The full study will be released later but the executive summary is attached here.

The Tax Foundation folks interviewed people in Nevada and did a forensic look at the state's antiquated tax structure. The analysts also read past tax studies, which have reached similar conclusions about the narrowness of the tax system.

While eschewing a margin or profits tax, the Tax Foundation identified many of the infirmities of the tax structure, recommending a removal of exemptions from the payroll and sales taxes that have long been criticized and recommending recalculations of property taxes and re-evaluating caps.

There are many excellent suggestions in the study, but it is sure to be criticized for holding harmless the money made by non-gaming and non-mining businesses. (Sales taxes on services are collected not paid. But, of course: "Businesses don't pay taxes; people do.")

Kudos to the chamber for commissioning the study. It starts the conversation; I just hope it doesn't end it.