There, with Democrats controlling both houses and Republican Jim Gibbons in the governor's office, Nevada leaders closed a $1.2 billion shortfall in the state's two-year budget by cutting programs, exhausting the state's rainy day fund, shelving building construction, and borrowing money.
Having made those tough choices, Republican leaders are now acknowledging that higher taxes are inevitable as the governor and lawmakers prepare a new two-year budget for the fiscal year that begins midway in 2009.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno had this to say to the Reno Journal Gazette:
"It will be very difficult for the governor to craft a budget that doesn't include any revenue enhancements. Everything has to be on the table."
If low-tax Nevada raises taxes, it will hardly be alone. Several other states are planning to raise fees and taxes to deal with a historic downturn in revenues. One of them is Idaho, where Gov. Butch Otter, a Republican, who wants the Legislature to raise vehicle-registration fees, raise the 25-cents-per-gallon gas tax and broaden the sales tax to include rental cars, according to a story Tuesday in the Washington Times.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that California pattern itself after Idaho or Nevada, a state with legal brothels. But at least leaders of those states aren't allowing ideology to get in the way of a budget solution.