CARSON CITY – This evening, the Assembly voted 30-10 to pass SB483, the largest tax increase in Nevada history. In response, NPRI executive vice president Victor Joecks released the following comments:
Tonight is the reason voters don’t trust most politicians. Just a few months ago, Republican politicians strongly opposed the margin tax and told voters they opposed higher taxes.
The effort to tell voters one thing and do another was led by Gov. Brian Sandoval. While he told voters he supported keeping taxes low, he was working simultaneously to create the largest tax increase in Nevada history, including a modified version of the margin tax.
The structural problems with the governor’s commerce tax proposal include pyramiding and raising taxes on businesses that are losing money, but the tax proposal also increases the modified business tax, sales tax, business license fee and cigarette tax.
While these tax increases will force struggling businesses into bankruptcy and put parents out of work, there is another tragedy with this tax increase.
Sandoval has promised that this new funding will finally improve education, because he’s going to implement accountability measures on the backend, but we’ve heard this line before.
After the then-largest tax increase in Nevada history passed in 2003, Gov. Kenny Guinn promised accountability for the new influx of education funding. Yet 12 years later, the Legislature is again trying to improve education by spending money first and promising accountability later.
It doesn’t work. The best news out of the Legislature is that a real education reform, universal education savings account in SB302, has passed both chambers. The great thing about education savings accounts is that they improve student achievement while spending less money.
Real education reforms enact accountability for the money we’re already spending, instead of just spending more on a broken system.
Joecks noted that the legislature failed to pass any major labor reform, like AB182 and AB280, so school districts will be limited in their ability to spend new dollars more effectively than before.