(Chuck Muth) – It’s been a bad couple of years for businesses in Nevada. And it’s about to get even worse.
Hikes in the government-mandated minimum wage are now on auto-pilot. There’s a pending proposal to double the unemployment tax on businesses. ObamaCare is resulting in higher, not lower health insurance costs for businesses and their employees. And those “temporary” tax hikes on businesses passed by the ’09 Nevada Legislature could possibly be extended or made permanent.
And that’s before the 2011 Legislature gets around to once again debating the imposition of a new gross receipts tax or other corporate income tax, not to mention expanding the sales tax to include services.
The problem for many companies and employers is that many business groups and industry lobbyists who should be fighting these anti-business government taxes, fees, regulations and red tape often feel compelled to “compromise” with those who are intent on further crippling businesses.
Indeed, the compromises agreed to by some business lobbyists which resulted in 2009’s doubling of business license fees and the modified business tax were done primarily out of self-preservation; hoping to avoid something even worse.
Now I recognize and understand that oftentimes corporate lobbyists, industry associations, and the various chambers of commerce will find it necessary to strike bad deals for political purposes hoping to escape getting the proverbial “royal shaft.” So what Nevada businesses really need is at least one totally independent outside organization which won’t play those games and cut bad deals under political duress.
An organization that will champion the interests of small, medium and large businesses equally. Which will fight against higher business fees, taxation and regulation as a matter of principle, not political expediency. Each time. Every time.
An organization that will take the fight from inside the legislative building – where the anti-business lobbyists and special interests, such as PLAN (Progressive Liberal Alliance of Nevada) and Big Labor, have the advantage – out directly to the people, taxpayers, and voters of Nevada.
It’s time for elected officials in Carson City to stop using businesses as scapegoats and money-trees to fund the inefficiencies and non-essential programs and services of state government. It’s time to stop forcing Nevada’s job-providers to accept legislative “compromises” with a gun to their heads.
And it’s time to stop “sucking up” to anti-business legislators who are hell-bent on sucking up every last dime of private sector profits and transferring that money to the government to redistribute to others who haven’t earned it.
It’s time Nevada businesses had a real dog in the fight. A watchdog, not a lapdog. A pit-bull, not a poodle. One not only not afraid to bite back, but ready, willing and able to bite pre-emptively.
That’s why my organization, Citizen Outreach, has created the Nevada Business Coalition (www.nevadabusinesscoalition.com).
NBC will be a pro-business, free-market grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to fighting anti-business legislation in Carson City – combining traditional inside lobbying activities with non-traditional outside efforts by a team with unique experience in coalition building, public and media relations, “new” media and online expertise, and years of public policy and political experience.
The intent is not to compete with or replace the chambers of commerce or trade associations or individual corporate lobbyists, but to augment their efforts and continue to fight anti-business legislation to the bitter end even after other advocates are sidelined in the battle or are forced to give up for political reasons.
And after the Legislature is officially out of session, NBC will continue monitoring and fighting anti-business proposals year-round, year in and year out – including matters brought up before the Legislature’s interim study committees. NBC will also work with friendly legislators to develop good, pro-business reform bills for the next session and publish voting records on key bills to let businesses know which legislators have been “naughty and nice.”
Yes, the legislative deck is still stacked against Nevada’s business community, but with NBC there’s a new hole card up the free-marketers’ sleeves.