February 25, 2020
25 Feb 2020

Political Update – February 25, 2020

EDITORIAL: High taxes don’t improve education, decrease poverty

Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 23, 2020

When it comes to government, you don’t always get what you pay for. Just ask the residents of New York and California.

Taxes in both deep blue states are extremely high. In 2017, state and local governments in New York collected more than $9,000 per person. That was the highest in the nation. California ranked ninth, raking in more than $6,100 per capita. Large states run by Republicans took in a fraction of that. Per capita tax collections were $4,200 in Texas and $3,700 in Florida. That data comes from the Tax Foundation.

With all that extra money, you’d expect New York and California residents to be receiving much higher quality government services. You’d be wrong. As Ryan Fazio detailed in The New York Post recently, the lower-spending states provide higher quality government services in numerous areas.

Consider education, one of the most important priorities for state and local governments. The education establishment reflexively blames Nevada’s underperforming education system on a lack of money. New York doesn’t have that problem. It shells out a staggering $23,000 per pupil, according to the Census Bureau. California spends $12,000 per student. In contrast, Florida spends $9,000 per pupil, and Texas spends $9,400 per student.

The Nation’s Report Card makes it possible to compare student performance by state. Florida outperforms New York and California in fourth- and eighth-grade reading. In Florida, 34 percent of Hispanic fourth graders score at proficiency level or better. In New York and California, that number is 22 percent. Texas has the highest eighth-grade math scores among the four states, although it lags a bit behind in reading results.

In 2017, New York spent $21,000 per person on those living under the poverty line. The vast majority of that amount was on Medicaid. California spent $19,000, while Florida and Texas spent under $9,000 and $8,000 per low-income resident, respectively.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“It’s easy for Nevada’s government bureaucrats to blame any failures on a lack of money. But these case studies reveal that such thinking is often flawed. You can’t fix broken systems by inundating them with more money. If lawmakers want better results, they must do the hard work of reform rather than blame the public for not coughing up more money.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal

EDITORIAL: Nevada Taxpayers Association: Teacher union tax hike plan a bad idea

Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 17, 2020

If there’s one issue that unifies Democrats, it’s the desire to impose higher taxes to sate an ever-growing federal leviathan.

Taxes, of course, have played a major role in the race for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. The various candidates propose a host of new giveaways that would require the creation of massive new bureaucracies and healthier “revenue streams” supported by the “rich” and middle class.


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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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February 18, 2020
18 Feb 2020

Political Update – February 18, 2020

Lawyers spar in Nevada high court over representation in tax case

Bill Dentzer
Las Vegas Review-Journal

February 11, 2020

Attorneys debated Tuesday before the Nevada Supreme Court whether lawyers for the Legislature can defend Democratic lawmakers in a lawsuit filed by their Republican colleagues, a preliminary skirmish in what will likely be a precedent-setting case.

Amid extensive questioning from all seven justices, the court Tuesday allowed arguments to run nearly double the originally allotted 30 minutes, with Chief Justice Kristina Pickering promising at the conclusion that the court would rule “as expeditiously as possible.”

The underlying case is a lawsuit filed by all eight Senate Republicans in July challenging the legality of two tax bills passed with Democratic majority support last session. Republicans contend the bills required two-thirds majority support in both houses to pass; they fell one vote short of that margin in the Senate.

While arguing the tax case in Carson City District Court, however, lawyers for the Republican senators objected to attorneys for the Legislative Counsel Bureau representing defendants such as Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas; Senate Secretary Claire Clift and Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall, who presides over the state Senate. District Court Judge James Todd Russell sided with the Republicans, and ruled the defendants needed to hire their own outside lawyers so the Legislative Counsel Bureau could maintain its bipartisan neutrality.

On Tuesday, Justice James Hardesty was critical of Russell’s suggestion that legislative lawyers “picked sides” in the dispute, and lawyers for both sides affirmed that there was nothing in the court record to suggest such a scenario.

“As far as taking direction, on behalf of the organization, it’s the majority rule concept,” said Kevin Powers, chief litigation counsel for the bureau. “So if the Legislature as the majority decides to direct us to do something, we would have to do that.”

Powers also argued the GOP plaintiffs gratuitously named Cannizzaro and the other legislative defendants in the lawsuit in a strategic move to get legislative lawyers removed from the case.

“The plaintiffs chose to put them in this case,” Powers said. “They made a tactical and calculated litigation decision.”

Later, under questioning by Hardesty, GOP lawyer Karen Peterson at first demurred on why those defendants were included. She later said the plaintiff’s lawsuit “didn’t need the Legislature at all” but quickly pivoted.

“We did need those parties, we absolutely needed those parties, because they were the ones that violated the Constitution when they approved” the tax bills, she said.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“(LCB) did pick and choose sides, they absolutely did. What I have a problem with is they’re admitting they don’t even do an analysis if there’s a conflict of interest.”

Karen Peterson,
the lawyer representing Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, and 10 other co-plaintiffs signed on to the suit

Was Nevada’s 2019 tax extension legal? Supreme court hears arguments in partisan fight

James DeHaven, Reno Gazette Journal
February 11, 2020

The Nevada Supreme Court could soon decide a bitter partisan legal fight over a statewide tax extension legislative Republicans say is unconstitutional. 

The state’s highest court on Tuesday heard an hour of passionate arguments about whether the Legislative Counsel Bureau — the attorneys who represent all elected members of the Nevada Legislature — improperly sided with Democratic state lawmakers who pushed through the controversial revenue-raising maneuver. 

A district court judge in November ruled Democrats would have to hire new, non-LCB Attorney’s to defend the move, explaining that failing to do so would pose a potentially serious conflict of interest.


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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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February 11, 2020
11 Feb 2020

Political Update – February 11, 2020

In case you missed it, Keystone Corporation is now on Facebook and Twitter.  Please follow us on both, and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. 


EDITORIAL: Forgeries show why union elections need secret ballots

Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 9, 2020

Sigifredo Araujo says he never signed a union card, but that didn’t stop SEIU 775 from taking dues out of his paycheck.

Mr. Araujo lives in Washington state and has provided in-home health care to his disabled mother for seven years. Medicaid pays for the care, but the SEIU wanted a cut. In 2018, he noticed that the union was withdrawing dues from his paycheck.

When he inquired about this, union officials told him that he had signed a membership card. He asked for a copy but never received it. The next year, he asked again. This time the union sent the card, but there was a problem. His signature wasn’t his. Someone had forged it.

Something similar happened to Sharrie Yates. She works for Washington state’s Healthcare Authority as a medical assistant. Washington isn’t a right-to-work state. Before the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Janus ruling, Yates had to pay dues to the Washington Federation of State Employees. That ruling gave government employees the First Amendment right not to pay union dues. But when she asked to leave the union, it refused. Union officials claimed she had electronically signed a renewal form just a few days before the Janus ruling.

It’s easy for a situation like this to end in a stalemate. Unions have a financial incentive not to investigate apparent fraud or to allow those victimized to opt out. Workers are usually stuck waiting for the next opt-out period. If they miss their window, which may only be a couple of weeks long, they have to wait another year.

Fortunately, these workers found the Freedom Foundation, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to worker freedom and opposing coerced unionism. It has sued on their behalf. The Freedom Foundation has filed similar lawsuits in Oregon and California, too. Last year, it settled another forgery case, this one in Washington state, for $28,000.

The authorities should investigate these unions to find out how widespread these incidents are. Those responsible for forgeries should face criminal charges. That’s what would happen if a bank or other private business tried a scam like this. But because unions and Democratic politicians are political allies, don’t expect that to happen.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Nevada Policy believes that unions, or any organization for that matter, should earn their support through the free choices of those people they wish to represent, rather than through government coercion.”

Robert Fellner, Vice President and Director of Policy for NPRI

NPRI to US Supreme Court: Restore Workers’ Rights!

Nevada Policy Research Institute
February 5, 2020

Today, the Nevada Policy Research Institute, alongside 12 other public policy organizations from across the nation, have formally requested that the United States Supreme Court grant Certiorari in the Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine case.

Maine university professor Jonathan Reisman is challenging the state’s exclusive bargaining law, which requires Reisman to accept the union’s advocacy as his own, even though he objects to union representation and opposes its advocacy on his behalf.

Nevada law similarly denies public workers their basic First Amendment rights — including the 50 percent of state educators who have rejected membership with their workplace union but are nonetheless forced to accept the union’s advocacy and representation during labor negotiations.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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February 4, 2020
04 Feb 2020

Political Update – February 4, 2020

Last week, we sent out an e-mail to inform you that Keystone Corporation is now on Facebook and Twitter.  Please follow us on both, and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. 


The teacher union is pushing for a $1.4 billion tax hike!

John Tsarpalas
Nevada Policy Research Institute

January 28, 2020

The Clark County Education Association (CCEA) has launched details regarding their plan to take more out of the pockets of working Nevadans. Two tax hikes have been proposed: an increase on gaming taxes and an increase on the state sales tax.

The grand total this go-around would be $1.4 billion in new levies — with more than $1 billion of that coming from a hike in the state’s sales tax.

While the gaming tax will hurt business and thus Nevadans by reducing job creation, the sales tax increase is simply devastating. The proposal would raise the average sales tax rate to nearly 10 percent – the highest nationwide!

Here at Nevada Policy, we’re not sure who the voters are that are asking to pay more in taxes, but the teacher’s union must know. Will they ever have enough of your money to funnel to education bureaucrats?  

Under their tax taking initiative the measure would go to the 2021 Legislature, which could pass it into law. If lawmakers decline, the measure would then go to voters via the ballot in 2022 and, if passed, would take effect the following year.

If unions get their way on this billion-dollar sales tax increase, it would be a big blow to low and middle-income working families.

This whole effort is sponsored by Nevadans for Fair Gaming Taxes, a new political action committee under the auspices of the Clark County Education Association.

Nevada Policy Research Institute is on the ground in Nevada to say enough is enough. Do we want and need more of our tax dollars going to form political action committees for the benefit of CCEA’s political arm? The added tax revenue will be used to keep a broken bureaucracy afloat, not towards improving student learning.

The fact is, the education bureaucracy — specifically the CCEA — and whatever new entities they create to strong-arm more of your tax dollars, can’t wait to grow their reach and influence in Nevada at your expense.

But we’re here to push back and make the case that pouring more money into a broken system will not improve Nevada’s education outcomes and will make ordinary working Nevadans worse off.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Nevada Policy Research Institute is on the ground in Nevada to say enough is enough. Do we want and need more of our tax dollars going to form political action committees for the benefit of CCEA’s political arm? The added tax revenue will be used to keep a broken bureaucracy afloat, not towards improving student learning.”

John Tsarpalas, NPRI

Teachers union hopes voters will approve billion dollar tax increase for schools

Michael McGrady
The Center Square

January 30, 2020

The Clark County Education Association (CCEA) hopes voters will approve a new tax hike that it says will address concerns of underfunded schools across the state of Nevada. 

“The added tax revenue will be used to keep a broken bureaucracy afloat, not towards improving student learning,” John Tsarpalas, president of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a free market think tank, said in an email sent to supporters. 

“The case that pouring more money into a broken system will not improve Nevada’s education outcomes and will make ordinary working Nevadans worse off,” he added.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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