February 28, 2018
28 Feb 2018

Political Update – February 27, 2018

IndyOutlook: Tax Foundation ranks Nevada fifth in the nation for favorable business environment

 

By John Restrepo
The Nevada Independent
February 20th, 2018

 

It’s February of 2018 and we’re now less than a year away from the start of the next Nevada legislative session. Seems like a good time to talk taxes. State taxes, that is — we already looked at a version of the federal tax plan in our last Indy contribution.

The Tax Foundation has released its 2018 Business Tax Climate Index, and in it they found Nevada has the fifth most favorable tax environment for businesses. The index looks at five taxes – state income tax, sales tax, corporate tax, property tax and unemployment insurance tax – and weights them based on business impacts, then computes a score between 0 and 10 for each tax type and for the state overall (10 is the best possible score, achieved by not having the tax type in question).

Nevada’s 2018 score was 6.46, essentially unchanged since 2016. The passage of the Commerce Tax in 2015 knocked the state from the number 3 spot and dropped its index score by about one point. While the corporate tax structure is in the middle of the pack, its sales and unemployment taxes are near the bottom of the barrel. Nevada’s high ranking is due in large part to its absence of an income tax, which is given the most weight in the index, as well as relatively low property tax rates.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"You know what’s audacious? Trying to mandate Nevada double its minimum wage and then chairing a political group looking for unpaid interns. If you think workers need a boost, try paying the people you hire."
 - Victor Joecks,
Las Vegas Review-Journal,
February 22nd, 2018

 

Political party pushing minimum wage hike seeks unpaid interns

By Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 22, 2018

During the past legislative session, Democratic lawmakers sought to increase the state’s minimum wage. Today, Nevada Democrats are actively recruiting dozens of unpaid interns.

All political campaigns rely on volunteers. But the unpaid internships offered by the Nevada Democratic Party are much more involved than that. The job description reveals that interns must work 10 to 15 hours a week for a minimum of 15 weeks.

READ MORE HERE


 

 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

February 28, 2018
28 Feb 2018

Political Update – February 20, 2018

Why doing 'something' won't stop the next school shooting

 

By Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 17, 2018

 

After every mass shooting, Democrats and their allies in the media tell Americans to “do something.” The response to Wednesday’s horrific shooting in Florida was no different.

The list of mass shootings with AR-15 style weapons “will continue to grow until we do something,” tweeted Nevada Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak.

There “are common-sense steps Congress can take to prevent the slaughtering of children and these senseless mass murders,” tweeted Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. “Congress just needs to step up and do it.”

“We need a leader who will have the courage to help us stop the next tragedy before it occurs,” tweeted Rep. Dina Titus.

Across the country, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, part-time comedian Jimmy Kimmel and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome all called on elected officials to “do something.”

But what is “something”? Without details, it’s like a group of lost hikers declaring they need to “find their way home.” Yes, everyone can agree with that, but which way do you go?

Sen. Cortez Masto’s office didn’t reply to a Review-Journal request for specifics on what she wants Congress to do. If you really have “common-sense steps” to “prevent the slaughter of children,” you have a moral imperative to share those. But it looks as if Sen. Cortez Masto either doesn’t know what to do or is too worried about electoral consequences to share what she really thinks needs to happen.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"Shame on you if your ideology so consumes you that you refuse to acknowledge that gun-rights advocates think school shootings are horrific. They are. Everyone’s heart breaks. Every parent — regardless of their political beliefs — shudders to think about receiving that phone call.."
  - Victor Joecks,
Las Vegas Review-Journal,
February 17th, 2018

 

Nevada has tripled its K-12 spending since 1960

By Robert Fellner
NPRI
February 15, 2018

From 1960 to 2015, Nevada nearly tripled the amount spent on K-12 education, as inflation-adjusted, per pupil expenditures rose from $3,556 to $9,165, according to federal data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

And since then, spending has continued to increase, with the state’s FY2018 education budget exceeding $2.34 billion — a $200 million increase from 2015’s level.

READ MORE HERE


 
 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

February 28, 2018
28 Feb 2018

Political Update – February 13, 2018

Don't miss PERS subplot in firing of NLV city manager Qiong Liu

 

By Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 8, 2018

 

The firing of North Las Vegas City Manager Qiong Liu highlights a very expensive problem with public employee compensation — pension spiking.

On Wednesday, the NLV City Council found that Liu had improperly attempted to give herself a $30,000 raise retroactive to November 2015. In 2015, Liu made $190,000 a year. The council gave her a raise in 2016, but she says she thought that would also include a $30,000 lump-sum payment for having forgone a pay increase the previous year. She says it took her a year to notice the money was missing, because she gets her pay through direct deposit.

Once you stop laughing, realize a $30,000 pay bump could have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to Liu via increased pension payouts. Those are benefits taxpayers would have been on the hook for because Nevada’s Public Employee Retirement System has a significant unfunded liability.

Liu started working for the City of Las Vegas around 2000 before going to NLV in 2005. That puts her at right around 18 years of service. But NLV had been purchasing six months of PERS credit, called “air time,” for every year she worked. That pushed her up to around 20 years of service credit.

PERS calculates retirement payouts based on the average of an employee’s three highest years of salary. A pay increase of $30,000 would have hiked her pension by an additional $5,300 a year. That amount would increase, too. Starting in year four, PERS gives retirees annual increases of 2 percent, and that eventually grows to 5 percent.

The law does limit those increases if they outpace inflation.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"A $30,000 pay bump could have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to Liu via increased pension payouts. Those are benefits taxpayers would have been on the hook for because Nevada’s Public Employee Retirement System has a significant unfunded liability."
  - Victor Joecks,
Las Vegas Review-Journal,
February 9th, 2018

 

The 'end of the world' apparently comes with a bump in pay

By Michael Schaus
Nevada Business Magazine
February 1, 2018

One wouldn’t know it listening to many media loudmouths, but the recently passed GOP tax reform bill is producing results that should earn the applause of “progressives.”

Unfortunately, as is now par for the course, political tribalism — not legitimate policy concerns — has encouraged the political left to protest a tax plan that’s poised to benefit every income bracket and over 85 percent of Americans.

READ MORE HERE

 

 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

February 28, 2018
28 Feb 2018

Political Update – February 6, 2018

Sandoval's pro-tax fearmongering unsupported by data

 

Daniel Honchariw
Thursday, February 1, 2018

 

Gov. Brian Sandoval appears to be overly concerned that his signature legislative achievement, the Commerce Tax, might not stand the test of time — at least that’s the impression given by his misleading statements to media outlets on the subject.

Since learning in late 2017 that Nevada’s Attorney General (and 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate) Adam Laxalt supports the concept of repealing the Commerce Tax, Gov. Sandoval is on-record as having proclaimed the following with regards to the financial impact of repeal:

"[Repealing the Commerce Tax] is going to hurt kids, going to hurt teachers, it's going to hurt parents. Every single [new] program would be eliminated."

That’s pretty apocalyptic talk. He continued:

“Anyone supporting a repeal of the Commerce Tax must explain to Nevada’s children, families and businesses which education initiatives will be cut if it is eliminated…Will they cut gifted and talented programs, end all-day kindergarten, eliminate special education resources, decrease literacy programs that help students read by third grade, cut autism funding, stop career and technical education, and get rid of technology in schools grants? Any discussion of eliminating this revenue source must include answers about where in the budget they will cut.”

Sandoval’s attempts to paint repeal as a grave injustice to the state’s ailing education establishment, however, have no basis in fiscal reality.

Contrary to what the outgoing governor suggests, education spending is set to increase every year into the foreseeable future, even before Commerce Tax revenues are taken into account.

What this means, is there will be no need for cuts in education — or anywhere else — in the event that Nevadans choose to repeal the governor’s ill-conceived gross-receipts tax at the ballot box or through their elected representatives.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"Gov. Brian Sandoval appears to be overly concerned that his signature legislative achievement, the Commerce Tax, might not stand the test of time — at least that’s the impression given by his misleading statements to media outlets on the subject."
  - Daniel Honchariw, NPRI,
February 1st, 2018

 

Campaign 2018: Nevada recall efforts will be heard in court

Colton Lochhead
Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 4, 2018

Two recalls targeting Democratic state senators will come to a head this week when a District Court judge hears arguments about the validity of the efforts.

A slew of arguments relating to the two recalls that started in August are scheduled to be heard Wednesday. The crux of the hearing is likely to be whether to count several thousand requests from people asking for their signatures to be removed from the recall petitions.

READ MORE HERE

 

 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

February 28, 2018
28 Feb 2018

Political Update – January 30, 2018

A cycle of dependency: more than half of able-bodied Medicaid enrollees are not working

 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

 

LAS VEGAS, NV — Over 50 percent of Medicaid enrollees who are capable of working did not work a single hour in 2015, the clearest sign yet that the program is profoundly failing its members.

Medicaid has transformed from a critical safety net for the most vulnerable members of society into a program that encourages dependency and erodes self-sufficiency, according to NPRI policy analyst Daniel Honchariw.

“Medicaid is supposed to provide a safety net for those who are unable to help themselves — an admirable goal,” says Honchariw. “Unfortunately, as the system currently works, it actually encourages many able-bodied adults to stay out of the workforce.

“As a result, the program isn’t just draining public finances, it’s eroding the self-sufficiency of those it’s purportedly supposed to be trying to help.”

Thankfully, Nevada can adopt policies that address this very issue, as well as a slew of other reforms that will reduce health care costs for Nevadans while providing patients with greater choice and access, according to a newly published study by the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

The in-depth study by Nevada Policy Research Institute Visiting Scholar Dr. Roger Stark, MD, FACS, details how the Trump Administration and state leadership can direct a much-needed overhaul of the nation’s broken health care system — without waiting on Congress.

“From tort reform to promoting ‘telemedicine,’ there’s plenty Nevada can do to improve health care for patients and taxpayers without relying on highly partisan politicians in Washington DC,” said Honchariw.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"Over 50 percent of Medicaid enrollees who are capable of working did not work a single hour in 2015, the clearest sign yet that the program is profoundly failing its members."
  - NPRI,
January 18th, 2018

 

CHIP vote shows hypocrisy of Rosen, Democrats

By Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal
January 19, 2018

Either Democrats don’t believe their own rhetoric or they want children to die.
That’s the state of American politics with a government shutdown looming as of this writing. On Thursday, the House passed a temporary spending measure and six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Although Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the upper chamber, Senate rules require a spending bill to get 60 votes.

READ MORE HERE

 

 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

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