State Budgets 2012: Nevada



To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Biennial
  • Legislative Session for 2012: No Legislative Session in 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Biennial

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers

Budget News and Information: 2012

Nevada does not hold a legislative session in 2012. 


Budget News and Information: Previous Budget Cycles

6/3/11: Republicans get their way, mostly, on final budget

Big business will emerge from the 2011 Legislature paying no more in state taxes than they did before the session began.

Teachers and administrators, meanwhile, will take pay cuts totaling 7.5 percent; higher education and state workers will take a 4.8 percent pay cut in the form of furloughs; and social services will be cut.

In a deal announced Wednesday, Gov. Brian Sandoval and Republicans extended for two years taxes passed in 2009 to fund a budget that contains pay cuts and layoffs for public employees and cuts to social services.

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5/19/11: Amendment would limit tax deductions

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford on Wednesday called for ending questionable tax deductions taken by the mining industry in a bill amendment that clarifies what's allowable, what's not and dangles a carrot for mining giants if they move their headquarters to Nevada.

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5/19/11: Democrats vote to increase aid for higher education

Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday voted to approve general fund spending on Nevada's colleges and universities by roughly $100 million more than Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed in his original budget. The spending plan for the Nevada System of Higher Education also included a recommendation that the Board of Regents increase tuition 13 percent, half the rate increase proposed by higher education officials.

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5/18/11: Sides far apart on taxes, collective bargaining

Democratic lawmakers want to raise taxes. Republicans say there will be no deal unless there are long-term reforms to reduce government overhead by cutting public employee benefits and making changes to collective bargaining. Democrats say Republicans and their allies in business are asking for the moon. Republicans say Democrats are offering nothing substantial to warrant compromising their principles by voting for tax increases.

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5/13/11: Sandoval's resolve on taxes to be tested by water issue

Senate Bill 432 would lift a sunset on a quarter-cent sales tax passed by voters in 1998 to pay for water and sewage infrastructure, including the “third straw” into Lake Mead. As the bill works its way through the Legislature, Gov. Brian Sandoval faces a tough choice — appease the collective power of Nevada’s establishment or keep his promise not to raise taxes.

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5/13/11: Taxing online purchases in Nevada gets complicated

Democratic leaders say they want to create a more stable state tax system and provide adequate funding for schools and social services. But on Thursday during a hearing before the Assembly Taxation Committee, interim state Tax Department Director Chris Nielsen said if AB569 becomes law, it could hinder Nevada's future efforts to maximize revenue from sales taxes on Internet purchases

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5/12/11: Nevada Assembly vets 1 percent tax on services

Nevada lawmakers are taking their first crack at an ambitious, $1.2 billion Democratic tax proposal with hearings on a bill to apply a 1 percent transaction tax on services. Proponents on Thursday told the Assembly Taxation Committee the measure would diversify Nevada’s revenue stream to depend less on sales tax, and capitalize on the state’s shift toward a more service-based economy.

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5/12/11: Nevada lawmakers include brothels in tax on services bill

The world's oldest profession could be subject to Nevada's newest tax if Democratic state lawmakers have their way. In an effort to fund government services during a crippling recession, the Democrats have proposed a 1 percent tax on services, including those offered at Nevada's legal brothels.

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5/9/11: Nevada sales tax plan targets Amazon, other e-companies

A coalition of hotel-casinos and small businesses is launching a $50,000 advertising campaign to build support for a change in tax laws so and dozens of other e-commerce companies would have to collect state sales taxes when they sell goods to Nevadans. Leaders of the Retail Association of Nevada and the Nevada Resort Association planned a formal announcement today detailing the proposals they hope to persuade state lawmakers to consider as amendments to pending legislation as early as this week. Projecting increased annual revenue of at least $16 million, they argue the move would only change the way the taxes are collected, not implement additional taxes in contradiction of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's opposition to any new taxes.

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5/7/11: Little economic balm for Nevada higher ed cuts

After an Economic Forum meeting predicted higher tax revenue, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval pledged almost all of the newfound money, $242 million, to strained elementary and high schools. He recommended using the funds for per-student spending, full-day kindergarten and class-size reduction. Looking on wistfully are members of the Nevada System of Higher Education, which got about $20 million to add toward more than $200 million in cuts and is still facing degree program eliminations, rural satellite site closures, 10 percent to 15 percent tuition increases and 5 percent employee pay cuts.

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5/7/11: Budget, taxes, dominate Nevada legislature

The budget and taxes will dominate the Nevada Legislature as the session enters its 14th week Monday. Democratic lawmakers on Thursday unveiled their long-awaited tax plan that, along with additional projected revenues, would generate $1.5 billion over the next two years. The proposal includes lifting the sunset on taxes set to expire June 30; a gradual phase out the modified business tax in favor of a margins tax paid on business revenue; and implementing a 1 percent to 4 percent tax on some services.

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4/25/11: Senate Republicans refuse to play ball on budget test votes

Senate Republicans rebuffed an effort Monday by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, to force a vote in the full Senate on Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education budget cuts. After Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, read a statement supporting Sandoval’s budget, the 10 Republicans sat still, refusing to participate in a show of hands vote on whether to cut kindergarten through 12th grade education funding.

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4/23/11: Republicans stand firm on Gov. Sandoval's higher ed cuts

Discussion surrounding college cuts remained at a standstill Friday as legislators voted along party lines after hashing out whether the university system should contemplate campus closures along with staff and program cutbacks that some Democrats said would cause irreversible damage. The Senate and the Assembly separately reviewed several proposals aimed at tackling the $162 million in reductions Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed for the Nevada System of Higher Education. Assembly Republicans took non-binding votes in favor of the funding reduction, proposed layoffs and allowing a property tax diversion in Clark and Washoe counties to expire. Some Republicans broke rank on how those cuts should look, showing distaste for tuition hikes and campus closures.

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4/21/11: Senate Democrats lead debate on proposed education cuts

Senate Democrats led a rare Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday to scrutinize school funding cuts included in Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's proposed $5.8 billion general fund budget for 2011-13, but they stopped short of forcing members to take a vote on the plan.

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4/20/11: First public budget debate before full Assembly ends in predictable stalemate

An emotional and contentious six-hour hearing before the full Assembly on Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed budget to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from education concluded just before midnight right where it began: Republicans and Democrats at loggerheads over the budget.

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4/17/11: New parole rules aim to save Nevada money and cut prison populations

The Nevada prison system wants to tighten its belt by opening its doors. Two bills under consideration by the Nevada Legislature would reduce the state's prison population by releasing some non-violent convicts earlier and by changing sentencing guidelines for others serving consecutive sentences to make them eligible for parole sooner. The other cost-cutting measure would have saved an estimated $1 million — based on last year's costs of housing criminals in Nevada's nine prisons. The state currently faces a $2.5 billion budget gap.

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4/15/11: Tax, mining proposals still alive

Proposals to generate nearly $645 million in tax revenue in the coming fiscal biennium and that would impact mining companies got a boost from a Senate committee Thursday. The unanimous vote by the Senate Committee on Revenue to seek deadline waivers for Senate bills 491 and 492 and Senate Joint Resolution 15 means the proposals will remain alive until the end of the session, which is to wrap up on June 6.

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4/14/11:State lottery bill dies in Senate committee

Once again, a bill to legalize a state lottery has died in the Legislature. David Parks, chairman of the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee, decided Thursday against bringing a lottery measure, Senate Joint Resolution 1, to a vote in his committee. Bills must pass by today or are dead for the rest of the legislative session.

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4/13/11: Bill to end arbitration debated

 A bill that would end binding arbitration in collective bargaining was hailed by supporters as a way to ease the burdens of cash-strapped local governments Tuesday, but harshly criticized by opponents who said it would amount to "collective begging" for public employees. Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, said the collective bargaining system is "bankrupting this state." He said his bill, Senate Bill 343, would "take the final decision out of the hands of arbitrators" and "into the hands of elected officials."

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4/13/11: Amendment would allow public funds to be used for school vouchers

Private faith-based schools in Nevada could see their enrollments soar in a few years if freshman state Sen. Michael Roberson has his way -- and taxpayers will be asked to pay the tuition. But first, those taxpayers will have to vote in two consecutive elections to amend provisions in the Nevada Constitution that ban the government from spending public money for sectarian purposes.

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4/12/11: Education funding mandate proposed

A Republican lawmaker is pushing a plan he says would direct nearly $225 million into Nevada classrooms, without raising taxes to pay for it. Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, is pushing a bill that would mandate 65 percent of money the state spends on education go into classrooms, an idea that gained national popularity about six years ago.

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4/7/11: Assembly speaker calls Sandoval comments 'irrelevant' in budget debate

What Gov. Brian Sandoval says has become "irrelevant," as legislators work to develop a budget and tax increase plan that will protect education from major cuts, Assembly Speaker John Oceguera said Wednesday. The Las Vegas Democrat said he was dismayed that Sandoval told a conservative group in Las Vegas on Tuesday that he would not "trade taxes for anything."

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4/5/11: Assembly debates tobacco, liquor tax hikes despite veto threat

Despite Gov. Brian Sandoval's vow to veto all tax increases, legislators launched debates Tuesday on bills to raise taxes on tobacco and liquor. The higher "sin taxes" would add at least $125 million a year to state coffers, they contend.

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3/29/11: Students urge lawmakers to clear way for state lottery

Three high school students in Las Vegas on Tuesday urged a Senate committee to approve a constitutional amendment that would open the door for a state lottery to help finance education. The proposed constitutional amendment was supported by speakers in Las Vegas but opposed by representatives of conservative groups in Carson City. No one from the casino industry spoke at the hearing. The gambling industry in the past has opposed the bill.

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3/27/11: Educators say governor's budget cuts will be damaging

Educators and parents from across Northern Nevada convened in Fallon on Thursday as they passionately pleaded with the Nevada State Legislature's Joint Subcommittee on K-12 Education and Higher Education not to support the governor's draconian budget cuts for the state's public schools. The governor's proposal calls for cuts of $668 million or 27 percent in state support for K-12 education, an amount that disheartened those offering testimony before an estimated crowd of 150 at the Fallon Convention Center.

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3/25/11: Econonomist: Nevada can gain millions with online poker

An economist said ailing Nevada stands to gain millions in tax revenue if it regulates and develops the multibillion-dollar online poker industry, but detractors -- including some of the most powerful Las Vegas casinos -- called the bill on the table premature and said it could chew away at brick-and-mortar businesses. The economic analysis came Thursday as a legislative panel heard Assembly Bill 258, which would call on the Nevada Gaming Commission to create rules for Internet poker operators and manufacturers of related equipment. Several states are pushing their own bills.

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3/25/11: Debate in Nevada legislature over agency collection fees

A $75 question touched off a flurry of debate Thursday during a hearing on how much collection agencies can charge Nevada homeowners who fall behind on their payments. The question was posed by state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, who asked how collection agencies could justify charging $75 for a form letter that tells homeowners they are in debt. Kihuen's query was part of a hearing before the state Senate Judiciary Committee over Senate Bill 243, which proposes to cap the fees collection agencies can charge homeowners. Senate Bill 243 would define how much collection agencies could charge and cap the total at $1,800.

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3/24/11: Lawmaker: Update base budget year

A Nevada lawmaker wants to update the base year for the state budget cap to account for fluctuations in population and revenues. Sen. Ben Kieckhefer called the current formula based on the 1975-77 biennium meaningless because it goes back to when the state government spent $390 million. He wants to replace it with a formula based on 2005-07 figures. The state allocated $5.8 billion those years.

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3/23/11: Bill tries to let Nevada schools use $400 million construction fund

Senate Democrats on Wednesday pushed through a bill that could redirect to school construction about $400 million Gov. Brian Sandoval intends to use to balance the state budget. The 11-10 party line vote for Assembly Bill 183 came despite protests from Republican senators who wanted time to craft a compromise amendment they said would prevent a Sandoval veto and ensure the bill becomes law.

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3/21/11: Protesters in Carson City objecting to education cuts

Week 7 of the Nevada Legislature starts today with a marathon day that will include a student protest over higher education cuts and the first nighttime floor meetings of the 2011 session as legislators rush to meet the deadline for individual bill introductions. Hundreds of college and university students from around the state will converge in front of the Legislature for a midday rally to protest deep cuts to higher education proposed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.

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3/16/11: Services to elderly would shrink under Nevada budget proposal

In spite of waiting lists and a growing senior population, the Division of Aging and Disability Services is holding steady the number of spaces available in some home- and community-based programs. The programs provide services such as adult day care, paid companions and Lifeline 911 devices if seniors are eligible for nursing homes but want to live independently. While those services cost less than institutionalizing a person, a legislative subcommittee was told Wednesday that they are considered optional and are not legally mandated.

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3/16/11: Nevada Equal Rights Commission faces staff cuts, longer investigation times

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's proposed budget cuts will also slash the number of federal dollars the state could pocket for closing employment discrimination cases. The administrator of the state's Equal Rights Commission told a joint legislative subcommittee Wednesday that under the best circumstances the agency can process a discrimination complaint within 120 days and receive $550 dollars from the federal government for each case closed.

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3/14/11: Lawmaker offers trade to keep state parks open in Nevada

State Sen. John Lee thinks it's a fair trade: You pay a mandatory $3 more for your annual vehicle registration, and you get into Nevada's 25 state parks for free. Opponents say the registration fee is akin to a new tax for people who don't want to use state parks. Backers say it is an inventive way to offset declining general fund support for parks and give Nevadans an added benefit for living here.

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3/13/11: Nevada lawmakers to rerview K-12 education funding in week 6

Nevada lawmakers are stepping up the pace as they begin the sixth week of their 120-day legislative session Monday, with more budgeting hearings and several committees holding work sessions to vote on bills. On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee will review the Nevada Plan -- the complicated funding formula for the state's K-12 education system.

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3/13/11: Nevada officials say inmate medical costs rising

Greg Cox, acting director of the Department of Corrections, and Deputy Director Jeff Mohlenkamp told an Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittee that they've seen a spike in inmate-on-inmate violence that resulted in injuries, including broken jaws. They were unable to say how many. The system is struggling with costs for prisoners between the ages of 60 and 65. For this age group, the department estimates costs hover around $4,000 a year, a significant difference from the estimated $1,000 per year it costs for inmates 30 and under.

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3/11/11: Proposal would eliminate Nevada State College, other schools

The higher education system's governing Board of Regents is expected to hear a proposal today that would eliminate Nevada State College, Desert Research Institute and two Northern Nevada community colleges as one way of dealing with potential budget cuts.

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3/11/11: Nevada museum advocates urge legislators to go easy on cuts

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's proposed budget for 2012-13 calls for dissolving the Department of Cultural Affairs and merging its five divisions -- Museums and History, the Nevada Arts Council, Historic Preservation, Comstock Historic District and Library and Archives -- into other state departments.The mergers were done as a way to cut costs as the state battles with funding essential services but also as a way to keep museums open, Sandoval said.

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3/9/11: UNLV president says proposed state budget cuts will hurt students, calls for tuition increase

University of Nevada, Las Vegas President Neal Smatresk said $32.6 million in cuts proposed under Gov. Brian Sandoval's budget would greatly diminish the university's ability to educate students. Smatresk said he would eliminate 12 departments, 120 faculty positions and at least 33 degree programs, according to a letter he sent to students and staff on March 8.

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3/8/11: Counties fearful of Sandoval's budget

It’s being called “A bucket of burdens” being dumped on Nevada counties by the budget of Gov. Brian Sandoval. And state legislators don’t yet know how they will preserve health services in rural Nevada while still balancing the state’s budget.The Nevada Association of Counties estimates the Sandoval budget is shoving $325 million in costs down to the counties in all areas.

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