Nevada’s Margin Tax Initiative to affect farmers and ranchers
As the November election approaches, so does the Education/Margin Tax Initiative on Nevada’s ballot, a measure that could greatly affect many of Nevada’s agriculturists especially farmers and ranchers in the state.
The Margin Tax Initiative or Question 3 on the upcoming ballot would require any business with gross revenues of more than $1 million to pay a margin tax liability of 2 percent on their entire revenue. The tax revenue would be spent on education in Nevada.
“It is the equivalent of a 14 to 15 percent corporate income tax rate because it’s on gross income; it’s not on net income,” said Karen Griffin, spokesperson for the Coalition to Defeat the Margin Tax Initiative. “This initiative is deeply flawed and costly.”
Griffin explained that although the additional tax revenue would supposedly go to education, the initiative provides no guidelines on how funds should be spent, giving the state the authority to divert funds to another cause.
The Coalition said that the tax initiative could raise between $460 million and $800 million annually, resulting in costly taxes for employers with incomes higher than $1 million.
According to Griffin, the additional tax would also make Nevada one of the five highest taxed states in which to operate, leading to a loss of new businesses and jobs. The Coalition estimates 9,000 jobs will be lost if the initiative passes.
Griffin also explains that the new tax would be especially detrimental to employers that have high overhead costs and small profit margins including agriculture operations, grocery stores, restaurants and other small businesses.
“This is a 2 percent tax on gross revenue and in many cases, that’s more than farmers are making,” Griffin said. “These farms have been in families for generations and now they are looking to have to give up what their families have been working on for years.”
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