Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons signed four bills that will cut spending and allow borrowing from local government investment funds to close a $340 million gap in the state’s $6.8 billion 2007-2009 biennial budget.

The package of bills cuts $73 million from state programs, but it closes the vast majority of the budget gap with $77 million of inter-fund transfers and $160 million of borrowing from local government investments. On the revenue side, the bills accelerate collection of $28 million in mining taxes.

The measures allowed the state to avoid tax hikes that Gibbons opposed in one of the toughest economic and budget environments Nevada has ever faced. All told, the state has cut more than $1.5 billion from its budget this biennium, as boom times gave way to a deep housing recession in Las Vegas and unusually sharp declines in state tax collections and gaming revenue.

“Nevada families are tightening their belts, Nevada businesses are tightening their belts, and Nevada’s government is doing the same thing,” Gibbons said in a statement. “Raising taxes on those families and those businesses is just not right in these harsh economic times.”

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