(Brent Jones of Assembly Policy Committee) – Gov. Brian Sandoval’s gross receipts tax proposal (SB252) – a modification of the gross receipts/margins tax that was defeated overwhelmingly by Nevada voters in the last election – has now passed in the Senate and moved to the state Assembly for consideration.
For the record, I will vote against SB252 and urge my Assembly colleagues to do the same. The people of Nevada spoke on this issue loudly and clearly in November. It is bad policy, as well as bad politics.
In addition, I remain opposed to the Governor’s proposal to make the 2009 package of tax hikes known as the “sunsets” permanent.
The people of Nevada were told those tax hikes were necessary to get us through the housing crises and would expire in 2011. Since then, many candidates, including our Governor, campaigned on the promise that they would end these taxes.
Instead, they’ve been extended twice, reaffirming the public perception that politicians can’t be trusted and that government will continually find ways to tax and spend and tax some more.
In addition, now is certainly not the time to raise taxes on business.
Many Nevadans are still out of work and many are stuck in part-time positions working two, sometimes three jobs just to get by. Likewise, businesses are also struggling to keep the doors open. Adding a new tax or fee – no matter what you call it – will have a negative impact on our already strained job market.
Expanding business is necessary to create good paying jobs. The proposed new taxes will discourage businesses from coming to Nevada, hinder new startups, and cause further job losses as small business owners are forced to cut expenses, including hiring and wages, in an attempt to meet their tax obligations.
It’s obscene for government to make more money off a business than the business owners themselves do.
That said, Nevadans know and understand our public school system needs improvement. They also know and understand that more money won’t fix the problem. So while I applauded Governor Sandoval’s sincere desire to improve education, I disagree with his method.
Nevada taxpayers have consistently provided more and more funding for education with little to no improvement. It’s time to try bold new ideas such as vouchers and education savings accounts that other states have implemented with proven success.
We can improve education without increasing funding. Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer. Never has been. Isn’t now.
When I ran for office last year, my promise was to find ways to make government smaller and more efficient. I intend to keep that promise. Government must learn to operate within its means; just as we all do in our personal lives.
Mr. Jones is the Republican representative for Assembly District 35 in Las Vegas. The Assembly Policy Committee is organized for the purpose of advancing a constitutional, fiscally conservative, free market, pro-business, limited government agenda in the Nevada Legislature. For more information, please visit: www.AssemblyPolicyCommittee.com.