January 28, 2020
28 Jan 2020

Political Update – January 28, 2020

 

Clark County teachers union pushing huge tax hike

Thomas Mitchell
Elko Daily Free Press

January 23, 2020

The Clark County teachers union this past week launched two tax hiking ballot initiatives that would raise Nevada taxes by $1.4 billion — devastating the state’s economy and doing nothing to actually improve the quality of education.

One proposal would increase the Local School Support Tax — a part of the statewide sales tax — from 2.6 percent to 4.1 percent, a 58 percent increase that is estimated would raise $1.1 billion a year. If passed, in Clark and Lincoln counties the overall sales tax would jump from 8.375 percent to 9.875 percent, among the highest rates in the country. In Mineral, Eureka and Esmeralda counties, which have the lowest current rate, the tax would jump from 6.85 percent to 8.35 percent.

The teachers union said the money could be spent to reduce class sizes and counter teacher attrition — meaning pay raises.

Sales taxes are highly regressive. The poor pay a much higher percentage of their incomes, making the poor even poorer.

Also, the label Local School Support Tax is now a misnomer. The 2019 Legislature revamped the statewide school funding formula in such a way that local sales taxes no longer go to local schools. Assembly Bill 543 swept all local taxes into one statewide pool. Instead of simply funding schools on a per pupil basis, the money is allocated in such a way that more money goes to schools with at-risk pupils — such as English learners, children of the poor and those with disabilities.

It is projected that the formula will drain money from rural schools into the larger districts, Clark and Washoe.

A recent article in the Lahonton Valley News about the newly created state Commission on School Funding reported that Elko County could lose $1,600 per student or nearly $16 million based on its nearly 10,000 enrollment. Douglas County estimated it would lose $8 million and Humboldt County about $4 million.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“The voters were asked in 2014 to approve a 2 percent margins tax on businesses. The measure was rejected by 79 percent to 21 percent of voters. Despite this unequivocal rejection at the ballot box, lawmakers a few short months later passed a similar, though somewhat smaller tax called the Commerce Tax.”

Thomas Mitchell
Elko Daily Free Press

EDITORIAL: It’s time to stop paying teachers for obtaining masters’ degrees

Las Vegas Review-Journal
January 22, 2020

There are several ways that teachers can earn raises in the Clark County School District. Being a great teacher isn’t one of them.

That’s one of several problems with education that more money won’t fix. In the Clark County School District, the pay scale for teachers starts at $41,900 and goes to $93,000. That doesn’t include longevity pay, health benefits or generous pensions. Teachers are in the classroom for only nine or 10 months a year.

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.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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January 21, 2020
21 Jan 2020

Political Update – January 21, 2020

EDITORIAL: What will taxpayers get for their $1.4 billion?

Las Vegas Review-Journal
January 18, 2020

Go big or go home, as they say. John Vellardita clearly didn’t want to go home.

Mr. Vellardita, who runs the Clark County Education Association, finally revealed last week the details of his long-simmering plan to transfer billions of dollars from taxpayers to his labor organization. The breadth of the money grab is impressive.

First, the union seeks to raise taxes by $300 million each year on the state’s largest gaming companies, which already supply nearly 40 percent of the Nevada’s general fund budget. (Full disclosure: The Review-Journal’s ownership also owns Strip casinos. But this paper has a well-documented, decades-long track record of skepticism when it comes to large tax hikes.) Mr. Vellardita seeks to qualify the gaming tax hike for the ballot, either forcing lawmakers to act in 2021 or putting the question before voters in 2022.

And like any good pitchman, Mr. Vellardita wasn’t finished. Wait, there’s more.

Next, the union unveiled a similar plan for the sales tax. Mr. Vellardita seeks to boost the levy by 1.5 percentage points and direct the money toward statewide education spending. Once again, the strategy is to qualify the proposal as an initiative, either forcing the Legislature to enact the tax hike next year or allowing Nevada voters to pass judgment in 2022. If enacted, this measure would jack the pot by a projected $1.1 billion annually while saddling Clark County residents with one of the country’s highest sales tax rates.The combined effect of these tax hikes would be to separate taxpayers from their money to the tune of $1.4 billion each year. To put that in perspective, the state’s entire general fund revenue stream didn’t hit $1.4 billion until the late 1990s. Let’s also not forget that this comes less than five years after lawmakers imposed the largest tax hike in state history to boost public school funding.

“This vote,” then-Gov. Brian Sandoval said in 2015 after the Legislature passed the $1.4 billion tax package, “moves us one step closer to cementing the legacy of public education by both raising accountability as well as increasing investment in order to suit the needs of generations to come.”

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“The union is pushing a liberal idea — that Nevada needs to throw money into a broken education system — but its overreach may end up helping conservative candidates.”

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

VICTOR JOECKS: CCEA’s tax initiatives a slap in the face to Sisolak

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

January 16, 2020

The Clark County Education Association no longer trusts Gov. Steve Sisolak to deliver on his education promises. That’s just one of the interesting takeaways from the two tax hike initiatives that the union proposed this week.

On Monday, the union filed an initiative to increase the gaming tax from 6.75 percent to 9.75 percent on gross monthly revenue over $250,000. It’s estimated this would raise more than $300 million a year.

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.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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January 14, 2020
14 Jan 2020

Political Update – January 14, 2020

The Economy’s Inequality Dividend

The Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal

January 10, 2020

The December employment report on Friday was a modest disappointment with fewer new jobs and slowing wage gains. But the report is an exception to other strong recent labor data, and the big picture is that the longest hiring expansion in 80 years is lifting lower-income workers in particular as accumulating evidence shows.

The jobless rate remained steady at 3.5% as labor participation held at its recent high of 63.2%. The 145,000 new jobs are fewer than the 184,000 average monthly gains over the last three months and the 165,000 average over the past year. Most of the slowdown appears to be trade-related and reflects lower business investment.

Wage growth for production-level workers slowed with average hourly wages up 3% over the last year compared to 3.4% in November. Some of this may be monthly statistical noise, and the trend in the last two years has been higher wage growth among lower earners. That’s a contrast to the early years of this expansion when real wages were flat.

The Federal Reserve’s interventions inflated asset values, which helped the affluent but did little for low- and middle-income Americans who don’t own stocks. Enter Donald Trump, whose deregulation and tax reform unleashed a surge of business investment (before his tariff spree) and hiring, which has drawn workers off the sidelines and raised wages.

The comparative data are striking, and mostly ignored by the press. During the first 11 quarters of the Trump Presidency, wages for the bottom 10% of earners over age 25 rose an average 5.9% annually compared to 2.4% during Barack Obama’s second term, according to the latest demographic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages for the middle two quartiles increased 3.2% compared to 2.2% and 2.7% between 2012 and 2016. Wage gains for the top 10% have held steady at about 3%.

Less educated workers have also seen the strongest gains. Wages have risen at a 6.1% annual clip for workers over 25 without a high school degree and 3.9% for those with some college—both about three times faster than during the second Obama term. Wage gains have also accelerated though to a lesser degree—to 3.2% from 2.2%—for college grads.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Irony alert: Socialism-loving young people are getting the biggest pay raises. Wages have increased on average 5.8% annually for teens, 4.4% for 20 to 24-year-olds and 4.8% for 25 to 34-year-olds during the Trump Presidency. Maybe as their incomes rise, more millennials will question the tale of woe and revolution that Bernie Sanders is selling them.”

The Editorial Board
Wall Street Journal

Group to collect signatures for Nevada redistricting initiative

Geoff Dornan
Nevada Appeal

January 10, 2020

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that would turn reapportionment over to a commission instead of the Legislature on Tuesday filed an amended petition with the Secretary of State.

The amendment would turn redistricting over to a seven-member panel consisting of four appointees — one each by the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly plus three “independent” members. The three would be chosen by the four party appointees and could not be either Republican or Democrat.

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.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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January 7, 2020
07 Jan 2020

Political Update – January 7, 2020

Legislators vote to appeal Carson City judge’s ruling in state tax lawsuit

Geoff Dornan
Nevada Appeal

December 30, 2019

On a party line vote, the Legislative Commission voted Monday to appeal the ruling disqualifying legislative lawyers from representing Democrats in the lawsuit over the constitutionality of two tax bills.

Carson District Judge Todd Russell in November disqualified LCB from representing the majority Democrats in the Senate but allowed the legal division to stay in the case to represent the interests of the Legislature as a whole.

Republicans headed by Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, argued and Russell agreed that LCB can’t represent one group of lawmakers against another group of lawmakers because the legal division represents the entire Legislature.

“It appears to this court there is a need for LCB to maintain neutrality with respect to all members of the Legislature,” Russell said in the November hearing.

He told both sides the individual lawmakers should either be dismissed from the lawsuit or they need to get private counsel.

His ruling, if it stands, would require Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro of Las Vegas, Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall and Senate Secretary Claire Clift to get their own lawyers while LCB would represent only the interests of the Legislature as a whole.

Chief litigation counsel Kevin Powers told the commission Monday the ruling must be appealed because it would apply not just to litigation but all legal services. He said the ruling raises “serious questions” whether LCB legal would even be able to provide bill drafting if one group of lawmakers opposes the requested bill.

Powers said the appeal is needed to protect the integrity of LCB legal. He asked for a vote to direct LCB to take all actions necessary to overturn the disqualification.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Ironically, there is enough extra money in the state treasury to cover the $100 million if the Republicans win the lawsuit.”

Geoff Dornan
Nevada Appeal

Government tried to compete with Uber. It got crushed.

Las Vegas Review-Journal
January 2, 2020

Government should avoid competing with private industry. Some people have to learn the hard way.

In June, the Regional Transportation Committee of Southern Nevada announced with much fanfare that it was taking on ride-hailing services, such as Uber and Lyft. The RTC unveiled its Trip to Strip program, which used 12- and 11-passenger vans to move people from the airport to the Strip, the Las Vegas Convention Center and outlying resorts. Just like private-sector ride-hailing services, customers called the vans using a smartphone app.

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.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

please add Info@KeystoneNevada.com to your address book or safe list.
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