(Dan Burdish) – How is it that legislators like Senator Steven Horsford can’t fathom how the real world works?
In his opening remarks to the Nevada Legislature Senator Horsford proclaimed, “Putting Nevadans back to work must be Job One of this Legislature.” Yet later in his speech he implied we must raise taxes. How, Senator Horsford, do you expect businesses to hire new employees AND pay more taxes?
A business, unlike government, must work with the revenue it has. It cannot raise revenue just by passing a law. If there is extra revenue it then has the opportunity to do something with that money. If the government increases the taxes that business pays then the extra revenue is reduced or eliminated. It might not be able to hire new employees, it might not be able to give existing employees a raise, it might have to increase the cost of benefits to existing employees. It just plain won’t have the money to fund what IT wants to fund. That money will have been diverted to the government for the government to do with as it see fits.
Instinctively Senator Horsford realizes this; he just can’t accept it intellectually. If he did he would be working with Governor Sandoval to balance the State’s budget without increasing taxes or fees. Every dollar increase in taxes and fees is a dollar a business doesn’t have to invest in itself. Senator Horsford needs to intellectually accept this fact.
It is time for the Legislature to prioritize spending. That is what Governor Sandoval has done. The legislators need to grow up and decide whether they want a strong and growing economy or if they want to cripple businesses with excessive taxation.
In 2008 (the latest year the Census Bureau has figures) Nevada was the 23rd highest-taxed State per capita, if state and local taxes are included. Yet we were ranked last in per capita spending for education. That same year Ohio was the 24th highest-taxed State per capita but was ranked 16th in per capita spending for education. Perhaps legislators in Ohio have different priorities.
(Mr. Burdish is CEO of Citizen Outreach.)