Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson is editor of the Nevada Current.


Every scheme everywhere all at once

By: - June 1, 2023

Hectic and absurdist, the 2023 session of the Nevada Legislature has strived mightily, or at least habitually, to assign legitimacy to outlandish farce. And so a fresh new round of tax breaks for Tesla. Five billion dollars over 20 years to giant film corporations. Hundreds of millions to a billionaire by birth whose baubles happen […]


The Republican base is driving Lombardo, but ARPA built the session

By: - May 25, 2023

Two factors underlying a bread and circuses legislative session have little if anything to do with decisions made by state lawmakers: The March 2021 enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act, and Gov. Joe Lombardo’s fear of the Republican base. Since it’s orders of magnitude more important, let’s start with ARPA. When sworn in as […]


The biggest government giveaway in Nevada history will also be the silliest

By: - May 18, 2023

Poor Elon Musk. Count all the tax breaks, cash and other prizes Nevada has given him, and they’ll total less than $2 billion. The film tax credit scheme currently whizzing through the Nevada Legislature is estimated to total just shy of $5 billion. Under the original 2014 deal, the vast majority of benefits the state […]


A bread and circuses legislative session

By: - May 14, 2023

Nevada has a lot of long-neglected needs that cry out for urgent policy responses. A movie studio isn’t one of them. A legislative hearing is scheduled Tuesday on a bill to give nearly $200 million a year in tax credits for 20 years to Sony and another film production company to be named later. Tax credits, of […]


Nevadans are offered ‘100% certainty’ that billionaires need ‘incentives,’ and 0% proof

By: - May 11, 2023

“I can tell you with 100% certainty that the Tesla truck factory in the latest expansion was set for Texas and would not have been here in Northern Nevada but for the abatements,” Tom Burns, the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development told state lawmakers last week. Burns made that statement during […]


Will Nevada’s Mark Amodei be among Republicans stepping up to save us all from wrack and ruin?

By: - May 4, 2023

During the Trump administration the federal debt ceiling was raised three times, twice when Republicans controlled the House and once after Democrats won it back.  Now that Republicans control the House again they are refusing to vote to raise the limit unless Joe Biden and congressional Democrats agree not only to accept 22% budget cuts […]


Cortez Masto coddles mining. Again.

By: - April 27, 2023

Two years ago, Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, in perhaps the most consequential individual achievement of her Senate tenure, single-handedly killed legislation to reform an egregiously industry-friendly federal mining law that was written more than 150 years ago. This week, Cortez Masto decided she wants to reform the General Mining Act of 1872 after […]


Play ball (government giveaway edition)

By: - April 23, 2023

If Nevada doesn’t give Oakland A’s billionaire owner John Fisher $500 million, would he still relocate the team here anyway? Among people who study the impact of incentives on economic development, there is something called the “but for” concept, which asks, Would the business have gone elsewhere “but for” the tax breaks or public subsidies […]


A lottery is a tax on the poor, so you’d think Nevada would already have one

By: - April 20, 2023

It’s weird that Nevada doesn’t have a lottery.  No, not because we’re already up to our eyeballs in gambling so duh why not some more. (And as you know that industry’s whiny disdain for the competition is why we don’t have a lottery). The reason it’s weird Nevada doesn’t have a lottery is that, as […]


‘The tourists pay it’ is a lousy excuse for punishing Nevadans with a regressive tax system

By: - April 13, 2023

What type of business generates the most sales tax revenue in Clark County, home of the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip? If you guessed “food services and drinking places” ding ding ding you are right. It accounts for about 20% of the county’s total sales tax revenue, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.  But how […]


If businesses want to give money to private schools, nothing is stopping them

By: - April 6, 2023

Nevada has a private school pseudo-voucher program called Opportunity Scholarships. Technically, public money isn’t sent directly to private schools or their parents. That would be unconstitutional in Nevada. So the Republican workaround to that, devised a few years ago when a Republican was governor, gives tax credits to businesses who donate to one of a […]


Purportedly ‘historic’ indictment actually tackles Trump at his most insipid

By: - March 31, 2023

The Nevada State Republican Party pushing out fundraising emails with the words “weaponization” and “Soros.” Donald Trump whining. The media repetitively yet breathlessly using the word “historic.” Democrats wringing their hands in trepidation that something might be bad for them.  It must be a day that ends in y. The indictment of Trump in connection […]