To: Our readers
From: Las Vegas Sun editorial board
Re: Economic development in NevadaPoliticians in Nevada have talked about economic development and diversifying the economy for years, yet the state has made little progress. But now the recession has pushed state leaders to try to find new ways try to bring businesses and jobs here.On Monday, Gov. Brian Sandoval and the new Economic Development Board received a report by the Brookings Institution and SRI International outlining issues and opportunities facing Nevada. The 178-page report also provides suggestions on how the state can go about spurring economic development.
However, as Anjeanette Damon reported Monday, the report's major findings on the issues facing the Nevada aren't terribly surprising. The report covers many of the issues that have been evident for years. As Damon writes:
"Nevada suffers from an underperforming education system and an underperforming health care system. Our energy costs are too high and we rely too heavily on consumption-based industries that tank when people stop spending money during slow economic times.
"We lack investment in innovation and spent a decade, during which our economy boomed, neglecting our haphazard economic development efforts."
The question now is what, if anything, Nevada's leaders will do about all of that.
The Legislature this year took steps to revamp economic development efforts, creating the new board and a cabinet-level economic development office to try coordinating and spurring economic development efforts. Sandoval just appointed Steve Hill, a longtime Las Vegas business executive, to lead the department. That's a good start.
However, there is a fundamental political disagreement over economic development and it largely comes down to taxes. One side says low taxes are the way to bring in jobs and businesses. The other side suggests that Nevada should raise some taxes to invest in education, infrastructure and other things businesses want to lure them in.
Nevada has one of the lowest tax levels in the nation, according to various surveys. And low taxes and low levels of regulation have given the state a regular ranking as having one of the best business climates in the nation. And that ranking hasn't led to a flood of businesses coming into the state.
Is there a balance to be had?
It seems to us that a friendly business climate should include good schools, services and infrastructure, and it takes taxes to pay for those.
We want to know your thoughts on the issue. What do you think the state should do about improving the economy? Here are some questions to help you consider the issue:
¥ Should Nevada be working to diversify the economy?
¥ Should the state give tax breaks to companies coming here?
¥ Should the state focus on improving the schools, roads and other services businesses want?
¥ Are there any industries that you think should be here?
Thanks for reading. We look forward to your thoughts.
Source: Las Vegas Sun