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Senator Don Gustavson

Don Gustavson is well known by his constituents as a proven fighter for lower taxes and smaller government. During session Gustavson works with other like-minded legislators to hold the line on tax increases so as to preserve jobs and save Nevadans from being taxed out of their homes. During the 72nd session, Gustavson helped lead the fight to defeat the Gross Receipts Tax and the creation of a Nevada style IRS.

“If we want to stimulate Nevada’s economy we must start by lowering the taxes on existing businesses, therefore allowing them to hire more employees and provide better benefits. Creating a friendlier tax environment would also encourage other businesses and home-buyers to want to come to Nevada. These types of incentives have proven to provide stable revenues without having to punish those who produce and succeed.”

As a state senator, one of Gustavson’s priorities to protect taxpayers from overbearing and wasteful government programs is to pass into law a Tax & Spending Control Bill that would limit government spending to population growth plus inflation.

“I understand that revenues are needed to maintain essential services,” explained Gustavson, “ but it is counter-productive when legislators raise taxes and expand government while businesses and households are forced to tighten their belts during economic downturns. We are currently witnessing one of the worst economic situations that Nevadans have experienced in years -- businesses are closing and people are losing homes at an alarming rate, and neither should have been pummeled by more taxes and fees while trying to weather this storm. That was just plain wrong.”

During the 75th legislative session budget crunch, Gustavson volunteered his part to cut back state spending by hiring and paying for his own legislative staff. Gustavson, a retired truck driver who lives on his social security, said it wasn't easy but believed it was the right thing to do for the taxpayers who elected him into office.

“We are not elected to be prima donnas. We are elected to serve our constituents and to be wise stewards of their money. If other legislators would have done as I did, they would have saved the State of Nevada $1.8 million.”

Gustavson has demonstrated himself as a servant who labors to preserve and protect Constitutional rights and freedoms, and was the only legislator to vote against requiring Social Security numbers to be put on applications for fishing, hunting, other state licenses.

“It was clear to me years ago that identity thieves would learn to compromise the impending technology that would enable hackers to infiltrate your personal information,” Gustavson justified. “Your social security number was never meant to be used for identity purposes.” Gustavson was also successful in passing laws to halt frivolous lawsuits against peace officers and gun manufactures.

Gustavson said that legislators need to get serious about illegal immigration.

“Nevada’s state, county and city governments are finding it difficult to sustain their budgets, and hospitals are struggling to stay open,” Gustavson emphasized in regards to the weakened economic situation. “One solution to help resolve this circumstance is to create legislation that would remove all non-emergency benefits to those persons who are in our state illegally. It is unacceptable to me that legislators would expect Nevada taxpayers to be responsible for providing the incentives for non-citizens to keep coming here illegally.”

Gustavson also stated that legislators needed to become more open-minded about fixing education in Nevada.

“We need to allow for parents to have more control in insuring a proper education for their children instead of always letting government decide. Nevada’s students deserve the best quality education available and they should not be restricted to a monopolistic system that has shown very little improvement over many years. School districts in Nevada, and all other government agencies for that matter, must become more accountable to the people they serve, including better transparency in their records. We are doing our state a disservice by passing students on to the next grade level when they cannot even read at their current grade level. If we are going to strengthen Nevada’s future, then changes to the state’s educational system must start now.”

Gustavson pointed to Arizona’s implementation of nearly 500 charter schools as a model of success for enabling more parents the additional options to provide high quality education for their children.

Gustavson said he had a vested interest in Nevada’s well-being.

“I love Nevada and the people who live here. I have resided in this state over 45 years, raising all 3 of my children here in Nevada. I also have 8 grandchildren and a great granddaughter who reside here, including a granddaughter who returned home after proudly serving on the USS Ronald Reagan. Our children deserve a Nevada that is fiscally sound and well protected -- a place where future generations will be proud to call home.”

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Don Gustavson - Still Standing
  • Standing up for Smaller Government
  • Standing Up for Victims Rights
  • Standing Up for Individual Responsibility
  • Standing Firm on Crime
  • Standing in Favor of School Choice