Lift Nevada out of the darkness

Want to see why corporations prefer uneducated Nevadans? This is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

After a while, you just get exhausted from the lies.

Each time I see another over-the-top opposition piece by the big business coalition organized against the Education Initiative, I want to shout: “Stop lying to me!” While purporting to be the defender of small business, the Coalition is funded by transnational mega-corporations including big gaming, big mining, and big retail, all of whom have contributed megabucks to the eternal cause of keeping their corporate taxes in Nevada low. Or more precisely stated, non-existent.

They’ve rarely had to publicly defend themselves, preferring to use their influence with state politicians behind closed doors to ensure every effort to broaden the tax base and stabilize the state’s revenue fails. Cynics believe they want to keep our workforce poorly educated, a source of cheap labor. I think it’s more about sheer greed. They want to avoid contributing their fair share as long as they possibly can.

The other day, I was chatting with a local small-business owner as we waited in line at the bank, and he told me he was leery of “that margins tax.” He hopes to gross over a million dollars this year in his retail business and said the 2 percent tax would hit him hard. I asked him which of the three deductions he intended to take, and he looked at me blankly and admitted he didn’t know much about them.

I reminded him he has a choice of deductions to reduce his tax obligation: 30 percent of revenue, the cost of his employees, or the cost of goods sold. In Texas, a state with a similar margins tax and a thriving economy, most businesses are deducting the cost of goods sold, at an average rate of 83 percent, meaning they only pay the tax on the ’margin,’ the remaining 17 percent of their revenue.

He said he’d do the math and look at it again because he knows, with a new baby to constantly remind him, Nevada needs to increase its funding of education.

That leads to another lie the opponents of Question 3 are spreading, namely that the millions raised by the corporate tax won’t necessarily fund education.

Question 3 requires the money raised to be deposited in the Distributive School Account (DSA), the budget mechanism used to exclusively fund K-12 education. Opponents claim the Legislature could then reduce the general fund dollars it allocates to the DSA, replacing them with the margins tax revenue, for no net increase. While this is possible, it’s extremely unlikely due to bi-partisan support for more education funding to pull Nevada out of last place.

Opponents of Question 3 are also using their TV ads to scare Nevadans into believing they will lose their jobs if Question 3 passes, based on several studies that predict job loss—studies they paid for. Yet, in an independent review, the Reno Gazette-Journal found that there is likely to be a net job gain after implementation. Seems the big business-funded studies did not calculate the jobs that will be created by the new revenue.

And now we have the governor promising to “fix” the tax system in 2015. No details, of course. When asked if he envisions new taxes, he was coy: “You’ll find out.”

Sandoval has also been warning his attention to revenue will come at a price, namely reforms like charter schools and vouchers, tired efforts to weaken public education that have been rejected by Democratic majorities in the Legislature for many years.

So it’s on your shoulders, voters. Don’t be fooled by the lies and the exaggerated doomsday predictions from the big businesses whose motive is to avoid paying a corporate tax they pay in 47 other states.

Vote yes on Question 3 and lift Nevada out of the darkness.