Friday, April 17, 2015


(Guest Commentary) - There has been a lot of discussion and debate about the tax proposals that are being introduced this session. With Republican majorities in two houses, it is both surprising and disappointing that we are seeing the largest projected tax hike in Nevada’s history.

The two most discussed plans are SB 252, Governor Brian Sandoval’s Business License Tax, and AB 464, the proposal from Assemblymen Paul Anderson and Derek Armstrong that would increase the tax on job creation (modified business tax).

There is speculation that people are afraid to bruise the governor’s ego by telling him that his tax plan is bad, even after Nevadans overwhelmingly opposed the very similar Margins Tax during the election.

A great example of this was when the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce commissioned the well-respected Tax Foundation to give them their professional opinion of the governor’s 1.3 billion dollar tax proposal. In short, the Tax Foundation found that the governor’s proposal is not a good fit for Nevada.

In response to this, the governor released a statement calling the Tax Foundation’s report, “utterly irresponsible, intellectually dishonest and built upon erroneous assumptions.” As a result the Chamber apologized to the governor for the tone of the Tax Foundations report and made a public statement that the two organizations are no longer working together.

You can read the Tax Foundations full report here, Governor Brian Sandoval’s press release here and read about the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce’s apology here.

It’s not uncommon for constituents and politicians alike to be passionate about certain pieces of legislation. We stand up for bills we believe in, and we will argue our point of view until we are blue in the face.

What might be more surprising is that many legislators have not read through bills in their entirety. Some of these bills are hundreds of pages, and with the limited staff and time we have, some legislators don’t make it a priority to read through every line of every bill that is being introduced.

So who is looking closely at these bills, driving the legislation and getting laws passed?

Tune in Saturday to “Walk the Talk with Michele Fiore” on KDWN 720AM from 9am–10am. My Policy Director, Dan Burdish, joins me to talk about these policy pushers, also known as lobbyists. We also discuss the real problem surrounding the tax proposals that are being introduced, which is why are we raising taxes when we are 26 in the nation for taxes?

I would like to leave you this week with some food for thought.

If everyone wants to increase spending by raising taxes, but no one wants to pay more in taxes, where do we stand? If our country’s philosophy is “don’t tax me, tax the other guy” how do we ever get around to solving the issues, like our failing education system, that are effecting constituents in Nevada?

We don’t need more taxes; we need to take a close look at our spending and then reprioritize.

There is a solution out there that will be beneficial to Nevada, and I am ready to work hard to find it.

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