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Retired State Sen. Bill Raggio opposes full home rule for local governments


By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: Retired state Sen. Bill Raggio said in an interview aired today that he does not favor granting local governments complete home rule because of the potential for tax disparities between more affluent communities and those with fewer resources.

Raggio, in the second of two interviews aired on the Nevada NewsMakers television program with Sam Shad, said the Legislature has kept taxes, and tax increases, consistent across the state.

Giving local governments that power could result in inequities, he said.

“If you give absolute home rule, take away what is called Dillon’s case, then you’re going to find raising taxes, you’re going to have disparity,” Raggio said. “And we’ve tried to keep taxes consistent, and the rate of taxes consistent, so I think it would create some serious disparities around the state.”

Raggio, a Republican who announced his resignation earlier this month in the middle of his final term in the Senate, served longer in the upper house than any other lawmaker in state history, first winning election in 1973. He cited mobility problems as the chief reason for his retirement.

The Washoe County Commission will pick among 13 candidates on Tuesday for a replacement to serve in the 2011 session, which is expected to be one of the most contentious in state history.

The 2009 Legislature authorized an interim study of home rule, examining the feasibility of increasing the powers of local governments. The final report of the study recommended only modest changes, however.

Audio clips:

Retired State Sen. Bill Raggio says granting complete home rule to local governments would lead to tax disparities:

011711Raggio1 :13 to have disparities.”

Raggio says the Legislature has tried to keep taxes consistent:

011711Raggio2 :09 around the state.”

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