Joe Neal
Democrat for Governor

A Fair Deal for Nevada

Read More About It:

Sen. Neal's Legislative Accomplishments

Sen. Neal's Biography

Democrat Q & A
Las Vegas Review Journal

Sen. Neal's Casino Tax Proposal

Sen. Neal's Nuclear Waste Position

Senator Neal's Platform

  • People have to control gaming. Gaming cannot control the people. I advocate a two percent increase on gross gaming taxes for companies grossing more than $134,000 per month, but would leave smaller establishments alone. Casinos in other states pay as much as 34 percent of their gross proceeds in taxes for the privilege of participating in a lucrative, growing business. Nevada's low taxes subsidize the industry's ability to pay higher taxes elsewhere, in effect sending dollars out of state to support other communities.
  • Linked to my gaming tax increase, I propose the repeal of the business activity tax (BAT), which I voted against in the legislature. Based on the number of people employed, it prevents small businesses from adding new workers. The BAT is a very unfair and regressive levy forcing small firms to pay more per worker than large companies. Shooting down the BAT would stimulate diverse job growth while cutting taxes for all businesses, including gaming.
  • I want Nevada ratepayers protected from subsidizing the costs of proposed utility deregulation. I sit on the legislative interim committee charged with reviewing this issue which affects everyone.
  • I want to control Nevada's always-high health care costs; I oppose privatizing the University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
  • I favor making banks more responsive to Nevada consumer needs, despite a recent spate of mergers. i supported establishment of the state bond bank enabling local governments to take advantage of the state's better credit rating to save on interest costs. The bond bank can be used as a model to keep Nevadans' money working for Nevadans. (South Dakota did this decades ago. Their state bank enjoys a 98% repayment rate on student loans, far better than other educational lending programs.)
    • My administration would not be dominated by one particular interest group, allowing others nothing. I would run a hands-on government responsive to the needs of the citizens of this state.
    • Our public records must be thrown open and become available to the taxpayers at a reasonable price. Despite efforts at reform, too many pockets of state and local government use public records as profit centers.

Senator Neal's Legislative Accomplishments

RENO, NEV. 1998 — Sen. Joe Neal shares a laugh with a treasured colleague, former State Sen. Jean Ford, D-Las Vegas, Nevada historian and women's rights pioneer.

THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: In 1977, Sen. Neal accomplished what everyone viewed as impossible. The legislature's acknowledged master of parliamentary procedure, he engineered the passage of women's rights in an ultra-right Nevada State Senate. A political payoff later killed it in the assembly.

THE NATION'S TOUGHEST FIRE SPRINKLER LAW: After the 1980 Las Vegas MGM Grand high rise fire killed 87 people, Sen. Neal introduced a bill calling for retrofitting buildings and other safety measures. The gambling industry opposed it because of the cost. Only one other senator signed on - until an arsonist set fire to the Las Vegas Hilton, resulting in more death and damage. Sen. Neal's proposal remains the law today, a model studied and emulated worldwide.

Former Nevada State Fire Marshal Tom Huddleston wrote to Sen. Neal upon leaving state service in 1987: "In large part because of your courage, the State of Nevada enjoys the most comprehensive fire prevention laws in the world. We are a leader in the fire service and accordingly, many countries, states and cities have copied all or part of what we have done in Nevada. The steady downward trend in life and property loss from fire in Nevada reflects our accomplishments. The yearly life loss in our state has been more than cut in half during the last few years even though our population continues to grow. This is due to your efforts. Many people owe you their lives and health. The fire service in Nevada is in your debt. Thank you."

TOUGHER REGULATION OF EXPLOSIVES MANUFACTURING: After a massive explosion at the Pacific Engineering rocket fuelplant in Henderson killed two people in 1988, Sen. Neal sponsored legislation imposing strict controls on the industry. The law has not been enforced. The recent Sierra Chemical plant explosion east of Sparks revealed lax or non-existent oversight.

MONEY FOR LIBRARIES: Sen. Neal ramrodded legislation allowing small communities to sell bonds to build libraries and establishing the Southern Nevada Library District to do the same in the Las Vegas area.

You can write to Sen. Neal at

Top of Page

This site is managed and maintained by The NevadaWeb.
We welcome your comments and suggestions