Nevada Policy Anniversary Dinner
We’re about to celebrate another year of defending free-market principles, limited government and individual liberty in the Silver State! And you’re invited! To join the celebrations at the Nevada Policy Anniversary Dinner on September 17th, register today, as these tickets are sure to sell out fast! Read more.
You know those justifications politicians offer when handing out tax breaks, subsidies and abatements? They rarely come true. A new report by the Reno Gazette-Journal once again shows why government shouldn’t attempt to pick business winners and losers. Since 2011, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has given big corporations billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks. But when GOED was audited, however, the companies had generated only 80 percent of the jobs promised and invested a mere 30 percent of the capital promised. A glaring example is EBay: Allowed up to $13.6 million in abatements, it created just two Las Vegas jobs. Since 2009, the GOED gave up $393 million in future sales and property taxes in exchange for 19,900 high paying jobs and $7.1 billion in capital investments. Only 15,732 jobs were created, however, and $1.9 billion was invested. Read more.
National Education Association
We know that union membership has been in decline in Nevada, but it’s not only in the Silver State that teachers are opting out of membership. Nationally, local unions are also bailing out of the National Education Association (NEA). In the last five years, eleven locals have left the NEA and their state affiliates. While opting out is relatively straightforward for teachers and support staff in Nevada, union locals themselves have much more difficulty. The NEA requires local affiliates to give 60 days’ notice, speaking time at membership meetings and a two-thirds majority vote. Recently, the Clark County Education Association — the largest local union in the nation to disaffiliate — slipped through the NEA’s grasp. “The NEA’s corporate executives, like any monopoly, fear competition above all else. But their attempt to lock in their revenue streams may prove too little, too late to stop the local revolution.” Read more.
It seems that most Americans agree that our infrastructure — items such as bridges, roads and airports — need attention. Although we may think of ourselves as “more free-wheeling and less-regulated” than Europeans and Asians, when it comes to infrastructure it just isn’t the case. So why does the United States fall so far behind other counties? The reason, according to PragerU’s Kyle Smith, is environmental activists and labor unions. Environmental reviews are why a routine drudging project in Oakland harbor took nearly 25 years to complete. Labor unions are the reason why a task that would take nine workers in Madrid takes 24 workers in New York City. So why can’t America build like it is in the 21st century? It’s simple, “the unions and environmentalists won’t let us.” Watch the YouTube video.
Last Friday, Nevada Senate Republicans filed a constitutional lawsuit against Senate Democrats over their certifying passage of Senate Bill 551 without a two-thirds majority. The Nevada State Constitution requires a two-thirds majority to pass bills that increase revenue “in any form.” SB551, however, eliminated a partial sunset provision to the Modified Business Tax (MBT) and thereby increasing state revenue by an additional $100 million. Senate Democrats and the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) reasoned that two-thirds majority wasn’t necessary since the bill rates of the MBT stayed the same. However, this particular provision in the constitution was enacted precisely to keep politicians from using such schemes to circumvent the law. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial Board notes: “Nevada is about to find out if its judges are more beholden to the constitution or political pressure.” Read more.