CARSON CITY – In response to today’s hearing by the Senate and Assembly Taxation Committees on Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Gross Receipt Business License Tax, NPRI Executive Vice President Victor Joecks released the following comments:
Gov. Brian Sandoval can put on a political circus, but his dog-and-pony show can’t mask the problems with SB252, his Gross Receipt Business License Tax. In November, voters rejected a similar proposal by a 4-to-1 ratio, because they understood that raising taxes on businesses that are losing money will kill jobs and force struggling businesses to close their doors.
Sandoval’s own witness, Jeremy Aguero, admitted that SB252 doesn’t solve the tax pyramiding problems inherent in gross receipts taxation. These structural problems are part of the reason why the Tax Foundation has said that, “There is no sensible case for gross receipts taxation.”
Sandoval’s staff says that they’ve modeled this tax after Texas, but earlier this month, Texas held a hearing to eliminate its margin tax. Texas wants to eliminate this tax because of the many problems Texas businesses have had with this tax. This includes 20 percent of small businesses having to lay off employees the year after the margin tax was implemented.
Joecks noted that Sandoval is pushing the Gross Receipts BLT as being broad based, but two years ago, Sandoval bragged about exempting three of four Nevada businesses from the Modified Business Tax. The concern about a narrow base is an issue that Sandoval created with his own policies.
Joecks noted that Sandoval’s proposal to dump more money in education has a 50-year track record of failure.
It’s amazing to watch three former governors talk about the need to dump more money into our failing education system without acknowledging that education funding increased during their tenure.
Gov. Bob Miller touted the start of class-size reduction during his testimony, but failed to acknowledge that spending billions on CSR has failed to increase student achievement.
What Nevada needs is fundamental reform, like universal Education Savings Accounts or paying top teachers in failing schools premium wages, instead of paying more for more of the same.
Sandoval’s education plan isn’t new. It’s the same plan politicians have been pushing for the last 50 years. It’s a shame that Sandoval wants to ignore 50 years of state history and doom tens of thousands of students to the same failing education system.
Nevada’s students need courageous leaders who are willing to fight for needed reforms, instead of further entrenching the status quo.