(Victor Joecks/NPRI) – As the debate over Nevada fiscal policy continues to intensify, dozens of Silver State businesspeople are reporting the negative effects of government taxation and regulation on their ability to operate businesses successfully.
The Nevada Policy Research Institute joined six other organizations today in releasing a collection of letters from members of Nevada’s business community describing the hardships they currently face because of excessive government interference — as well as their concerns that lawmakers will saddle them with even greater burdens.
The letters, collectively titled “Nevada’s tax debate: The untold stories,” should provide some balance against the testimony that policymakers typically hear from tax-increase advocates.
“During every legislative session, lawmakers are inundated with pleas from people who want elected officials to give them something from the public coffers,” said Victor Joecks, NPRI’s communication director. “What’s often missing is the perspective of individual businesspeople who don’t want lawmakers to give them anything, but are struggling under the taxes and regulations that politicians implement.
“At a time when policymakers of both political parties recognize the importance of private-sector job creation, this publication provides a window into the real-life experiences of those who have created jobs and work tirelessly to grow and expand their businesses — which will allow them to hire more workers.”
The letters come during a vigorous debate over Nevada’s budget. While Gov. Brian Sandoval calls for “shared sacrifice,” legislative Democrats protest the proposed spending cuts — including salary reductions for state government employees, who earn 5 to 7 percent more than the national average of comparable government workers.
“What these letters show is that when it comes to ‘sacrifice,’ the public sector can’t hold a candle to what those in the private sector have experienced,” said Joecks. “This collection of stories includes letters from individuals who have taken 50 percent pay cuts and have seen their companies’ revenues decline by up to two-thirds.”
In contrast, Gov. Sandoval has proposed state employees take a 5 percent salary cut and that some employees contribute more toward their benefits.
Representatives from the Nevada Farm Bureau, Americans for Prosperity, the Nevada Manufacturers Association, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada Business Coalition all joined NPRI in signing a letter urging state lawmakers to consider the perspective of business owners when crafting public policy.
“These letters aren’t about supporting or opposing any particular piece of legislation,” said Joecks. “They are simply a reminder that the decisions of the legislative body impact those who aren’t seen, just as much as — and, collectively, much more than — the people who are seen.”
The full collection of letters can be viewed at: http://www.npri.org/docLib/20110331_Nevadas_Tax_Debate_-_The_Untold_Stories.pdf.