Week in Review: You did it

Andy Matthews

Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

Back in January, I used this space to share with you a list of policy issues that NPRI had identified as our top priorities for the year ahead.

And the first thing on that list was our campaign to inform voters about the destructive impact of the proposed margin tax, which would appear on the November ballot.

We recognized early on that the battle over the margin tax — which proponents deceptively billed as the “Education Initiative” — would be the most important policy fight facing the Silver State this year. And given the havoc it would wreak on Nevada’s businesses and workers, we knew it was crucial that voters understood the damage this tax would cause.

I’d say they got the message.

In case you missed it — and I really can’t imagine there’s any way you did — the margin tax was dealt a resounding defeat on Tuesday, with voters rejecting it by a nearly 4-to-1 gap. Just under 79 percent of voters took a look at this teacher-union-backed measure to further soak Nevada’s already-struggling private sector and said, no thanks.

A lot of folks have called me in the past few days to commend our team at NPRI for our work on this issue over the past year. And indeed, I think our staff did a tremendous job in making the intellectual case as to why this tax represented such terrible policy. So those words of commendation are most welcome.

But the real credit belongs to you.

You and your fellow NPRI supporters are the ones who made all of our efforts possible. You’re the ones who allowed us to share the stories of the families and individuals who would be harmed by the margin tax. It was your support that allowed us to publish our study showing that more than 3,600 jobs would be lost if the tax took effect. And it was your generosity that funded our YouTube ad campaign illustrating the way those jobs would fall like dominoes, leaving thousands of our fellow citizens out of work and worrying about their future.

My friend, you did this. And I can’t thank you enough for your commitment to doing what’s right for our state.

As you know, the defeat of the margin tax wasn’t the only noteworthy result of Tuesday’s elections. Nevada Republicans made history — and shocked all political observers — by not only taking back control of the state Senate, but soaring to a large majority in the Assembly as well. The GOP now controls the governor’s office and both legislative houses for the first time in decades.

We at NPRI don’t get involved in political races, so we weren’t working toward any particular outcome on that front. But there’s no question that the power shift in Carson City sets up a whole new dynamic for the 2015 Legislative Session and presents a series of policy opportunities we’ve not seen before. And I’ll have a lot to say about what that means in the coming weeks and months.

But for now, I just want to say thank you. We had no way of knowing back in January, when we committed ourselves to exposing the truth about the margin tax, how it would ultimately turn out. But what we did know was that there was no way we could succeed on our own. We needed you to be there with us and you were.

Well done, my friend. Thank you.

Until next time,

Andy Matthews
NPRI President

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