Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons broke a 144 year old Nevada record this session by vetoing a total of 31 bills sent to him by the state's legislature. One of those vetoes was of a much needed $781 million revenue raising package that increased the state sales tax, vehicle registration fees, hotel room taxes, and two business taxes and fees. Since Nevada lacks an individual or corporate income tax, the options for progressive tax reform were fairly limited. Legislators should be praised, however, for recognizing that balancing the budget by slashing state services alone would create undue hardship for too many Nevadans. And they deserve even more praise for confidently overriding that veto in less than 24 hours in both the Assembly and the Senate.
The Governor's veto was widely anticipated, given his signing of a ridiculous and short-sighted "no-new-taxes pledge". At the veto ceremony, Governor Gibbons provided onlookers with plenty of rhetoric regarding the "job-killing" and "economy-crushing" attributes inherent to any tax increase. Interestingly, however, some have suggested that the Governor's position may be more political posturing than actual conviction, as he didn't appear to have launched much of a lobbying effort to prevent his veto from being overriden.