Buckley admits raising Modified Business Tax will kill jobs

Victor Joecks

No joke.

Last week Speaker Buckley proposed increasing the Modified Business Tax from .63 percent to between 1.2 and 2 percent for payrolls over $250,000, and lowering the MBT to .5 percent for the first $250,000 in payroll for all companies. Why the distinction?

“If we’re considering raising more revenue, not only should we exempt small businesses from those increases, we should provide them some tax relief,” she said. “These are businesses that employ a handful of people. Raising taxes on them could be the difference between laying people off.”

That’s right, Buckley said that raising taxes on small businesses could cause layoffs. Note to Speaker Buckley: Many businesses in Nevada – small and big – are suffering. Just last week, the M Resort announced it was going to lay off 5 percent of its workforce. What happens if the MBT doubles for the M Resort? The government will have given M Resort a reason to conduct more layoffs, reduce wages or implement a hiring freeze.

You can read more about how raising taxes will kill jobs in Nevada from NPRI Fiscal Policy Analyst Geoffrey Lawrence.

Speaker Buckley, why is it OK for employees at large businesses to lose their jobs, but not for employees at small businesses to lose theirs?

It’s not.

Government should provide a uniformly low tax and regulatory burden for all businesses, not try to pick the winners and losers. Buckley’s admission that her tax increase will kill jobs at larger businesses is another reminder that whenever the government picks the winners, there are always losers.