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Monday, October 18, 2010

Hang 'em high

We can't have good olde fashion western justice anymore, but we can vote the bums out

Taking a second look at Clinger's budget numbers makes me think the State legislature has been "BSing" (that is the nice way of putting it) Nevadans just like NSHE by excluding certain taxes and federal subsidies when politically convenient.

In 2009 the state legislature approved a $6.9 billion budget for the biennium (though they wanted a $7.9 billion budget). In 2010 they had to reduce that amount to $6.4 billion.

Now Clinger and the state agencies claim they want $8.3 billion. But he reaches this number by adding in lost ARRA subsidies and lost local revenues. This most likely means our state government simply excluded those numbers from the General Fund so they could claim they cut the budget.

Based on these figures it seems instead of spending $6.9 billion as originally planned, we actually spent $7 billion. Basically, the Nevada state legislature made cuts to the General Fund then back filled lost revenue with Federal subsidies and may have actually increased spending. (Update: I'm now thinking spending was $7 billion, with the local support taxes as part of the subsidized Distributive School Account Funds. Depending on how Clinger defines the General Fund or General Fund operating appropriations, we may not have actually cut the budget).

Why would you list lost revenue as an expense, unless the lost revenue was used to supplement existing spending above and beyond the General Fund?

I'm going to have to investigate this more to see if this is true, but it seems like our government has lied to us by excluding budget numbers to coax us into tax increases.

UPDATE: It may be the case that the state bureaucrats misled the state legislature. After all our legislative members are part-time tenderfoots compared to the full-time charlatans running the various state bureaucracies.

UPDATE 10/9 @ 5p.m to reflect uncertainties. It now appears that lost local revenues is for the FY11-13 biennium rather than money actually spent by the state this year. According to the Nevada Plan, the state legislature must guarantee certain local funds if they fall short. In this case, it may be early projections on falling local revenues for the next biennium that the state must pick up -  assuming they don't change the statute. That said, we can always roll back the basic support per pupil as it actually INCREASED in value in 2009, despite the recession.