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March 31, 2020
31 Mar 2020

Political Update – March 31, 2020

 

EDITORIAL: Labor transparency needed as local governments deal with financial pain

Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 29, 2020

The coronavirus economic shutdown is devastating local government budgets. That’s why transparency in collective bargaining negotiations is more important than ever.

It’s too early to know how much tax revenues will drop because of the forced closure of many businesses. Much will depend on how soon Gov. Steve Sisolak and health experts deem it’s safe for Nevadans to go back to work. In a best-case scenario, that recovery will happen quickly enough that the downturn doesn’t sink property values, which would decrease property tax revenues. Regardless, local governments will see a big hit from a decline in sales, gaming and room taxes.

That’s going to cause numerous problems throughout Southern Nevada. Just a few years ago, the Clark County School District’s reserve fund represented only a few hours of spending. Until the virus hit, the district had been slowly building up its reserve, but it’s still not large. Clark County’s fiscal position is stronger. Its budget this year included an ending fund balance of 9 percent, although that doesn’t account for the current drop in revenue.

Local governments spend the vast majority of their general funds on personnel costs. In the school district, it’s more than 80 percent. For the Metropolitan Police Department, it’s more than 85 percent. This means that when elected officials go looking for budget reductions, employee compensation must inevitably be considered. This is especially true if a falling stock market forces Nevada’s Public Employees’ Retirement System to hike contribution rates — again.

Absent a special session — which is almost a certainty — the school district will likely have difficulty fulfilling the contract it agreed to last year. Meanwhile, Clark County has several bargaining groups whose contracts end in June.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Government alone can’t solve the coronavirus crisis. And it needs to get out of the way of the private companies that are rushing to become part of the solution.”

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

VICTOR JOECKS: How private-sector companies are saving America from coronavirus

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 28, 2020

Anyone who thinks the coronavirus outbreak shows the need for larger government hasn’t been paying attention.

Over the past few months, government agencies made mistake after mistake, which allowed the coronavirus to proliferate in the United States. Private companies — once unshackled from government regulations — are the ones swinging into action to produce desperately needed medical products.


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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March 24, 2020
24 Mar 2020

Political Update – March 24, 2020

 

Poll: Nevadans, by a 4-1 margin, want transparency in collective bargaining

Michael Schaus
Nevada Policy Research Institute

March 17, 2020

Nearly three out of four likely Nevada voters want more transparency from public employee unions and government agencies, according to a new statewide public opinion poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights on behalf of the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

When asked if labor negotiations between public unions and government employers should be made transparent and open to the public, Nevadans overwhelmingly agreed, with 73 percent of total respondents supporting such a measure.

Support was strong across all demographics, including two-thirds of current union members responding in favor of greater transparency.

“Unfortunately, Nevadans simply aren’t receiving the kind of openness they expect, and are entitled to, when it comes to union negotiations with government agencies,” said Nevada Policy Communications Director Michael Schaus.

While the state’s Open Meetings Law requires that government business be conducted in public view, contract negotiations with government unions are exempt from this requirement — shutting government workers and taxpayers out of the process that determines how their tax dollars will be spent.

“I think most people are probably pretty shocked when they learn that these negotiations over how to spend public dollars happen behind closed doors,” Schaus said. “Such secrecy is directly at odds with what Nevadans expect from their government.

“As this poll demonstrates, making the process more transparent is something Nevadans, including union members themselves, overwhelmingly support.”

The bipartisan support for greater transparency in government also extends to Nevada lawmakers.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“As this poll demonstrates, making the process more transparent is something Nevadans, including union members themselves, overwhelmingly support.”

Michael Schaus
Nevada Policy Research Institute

Policy group: More options needed to improve Nevada education, not increased taxes

Kimberly James
The Center Square

March 19, 2020

A Carson City judge blocked a petition from a teacher’s union that would have increased the state sales tax.

The Clark County Education Association’s proposal would raise the Local Scool Support Tax, a component of the state tax, by 1.5 percentage points. This would make the state sales tax to nearly 10 percent, the highest in the nation.


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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March 17, 2020
17 Mar 2020

Political Update – March 17, 2020

VICTOR JOECKS: Education lawsuit backers suing system they spent years praising

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 5, 2020

If those behind a new education funding lawsuit are upset about the quality of Nevada’s public schools, they should be suing themselves. They’ve supported the very education initiatives they now claim have produced a constitutionally deficient system.

On Wednesday, Educate Nevada Now sued the state over what it argues is a lack of school funding. The group wants the courts to rule that the state doesn’t provide enough money to produce a minimally acceptable level of education. The lead plaintiff in the case is Caryne Shea, who is vice president of the education advocacy group HOPE for Nevada.

It’s not news that Nevada’s education system is doing poorly. What’s noteworthy is that both ENN and Shea have spent the past five years praising the steps Nevada politicians have taken on education.

In 2015, then-Gov. Brian Sandoval proposed the largest tax hike in Nevada history, specifically to fund education. Shea signed a statement supporting Sandoval’s “education initiatives” and tax increase. After Sandoval muscled his spending plan and taxes through the Legislature, HOPE put out a celebratory newsletter.

“The majority of HOPE’s objectives this session came to fruition,” the release read. It continued, “Nevada’s students, teachers are real winners with unprecedented funding for schools.”

ENN came into existence during the middle of the 2015 legislative session. Its first big move was to file a lawsuit against Education Savings Accounts, a school choice program passed earlier that year. ESAs would have forced public schools to improve by enabling families to choose alternatives, such as private schools. ENN won its lawsuit, and ESAs never took effect.

In 2017, both ENN and Shea’s group praised the actions taken during Sandoval’s final legislative session.

“Nevada’s education reform architecture that has been developed through bipartisan effort in the last three sessions is sound and ambitious,” Sylvia Lazos, then-ENN’s policy director, wrote as part of written testimony submitted during the session.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“This is the height of arrogance. [Educate Nevada Now and Caryne Shea] should be begging for forgiveness from Nevada students for pushing policies that they now acknowledge failed miserably. They mistakenly believe that you can fix a broken system by dumping more money into it.”

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Judge blocks teachers union’s $1B sales tax plan

Colton Lochhead
Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 14, 2020

A Carson City judge on Friday blocked a sales tax increase proposed by a teachers union that would generate $1 billion per year in new state revenue.

But John Vellardita, executive director of the Clark County Education Association which proposed the ballot measure, called the injunction from the judge “a bump in the road” and said the group plans to refile the petition soon.


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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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March 10, 2020
10 Mar 2020

Political Update – March 10, 2020

Another billion dollar tax hike to ‘fix’ education?

Nevada Policy Research Institute
March 3, 2020

The Clark County Education Association is lobbying for a $1.4 billion tax hike to increase spending on public education.

This would raise Nevada’s average sales tax rate to nearly 10 percent — the highest in the nation. Here are some quick facts about this proposed tax increase and the current state of education funding in Nevada:

Nevadans can’t afford this tax increase:

  • Sales taxes are incredibly regressive — hurting low-and middle-income families the hardest.
  • Nevadans already earn less than residents of most other states, ranking 47th in terms of private-sector median earnings. 
  • This tax increase would require Nevadan to pay a nearly 10 percent average state sales tax rate —  the highest in the nation.

More spending does not mean better academic performance:

Nevada’s per-pupil spending levels, at more than $10,000 per student, are already comparable to states that have consistently higher levels of academic performance, such as Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Florida.

As the scatterplot below illustrates, simply spending more money is no guarantee of improved student learning. Other factors beyond per-pupil spending, such as accountability reforms, performance-based evaluations and educational choice programs, have been empirically proven to increase academic performance — as well as boost other important measures such as college enrollment, civic engagement and parental and student satisfaction.

There are alternatives to hiking taxes:

Rather than forcing Nevadans to pay the nation’s highest average sales tax, lawmakers should instead empower families with greater educational options. Policymakers should ensure students have access to the classrooms that suit their unique needs, rather than simply pouring more money into classrooms that don’t.

In the end, Nevadans deserve an educational system that actually works for students — not merely one that takes more hard-earned money away from working families.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Contrary to the narrative being pushed by advocates of government intervention, capitalism remains the most effective mechanism for producing widespread wealth and prosperity ever discovered — and the evidence is right in front of us.”

Robert Fellner
Nevada Policy Research Institute

Middle-class Americans are thriving, thanks to capitalism!

Robert Fellner
Nevada Policy Research Institute

March 5, 2020

Candidates in the Democrat presidential primary are united around a single message: middle-class Americans are not benefiting from the enormous gains in wealth and prosperity created by capitalism and, as such, government needs to play a much larger role in the economy.

This narrative is objectively false.

The unemployment rate is currently at 3.6% — the lowest level seen in 50 years. The 11.8 percent overall poverty rate is approaching an all-time low, with the rate for both African Americans and Hispanics having already hit that mark.  


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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March 3, 2020
03 Mar 2020

Political Update – March 3, 2020

The Highest Sales Tax in the Nation Won’t Fix Nevada Education

Michael Schaus
Nevada Policy Research Institute
for Nevada Business Magazine

March 1, 2020

Nevadans deserve an education system that actually works, not merely one that costs more money. Nevada already spends roughly $10,200 per student, an amount comparable to numerous states (and nations) that outperform us academically on a regular basis. And yet, the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) is convinced that a simple billion-dollar tax hike will, somehow, fix all our education woes.

Earlier this year, the CCEA announced plans to lobby for a couple of tax hikes that would generate a whopping $1.4 billion in new revenue for public education. More than $300 million would be generated by a higher gaming tax. The bulk of the revenue (roughly $1.1 billion) would come from an increase to the state’s sales tax.

If successful, the CCEA’s tax hike would give Nevada the dubious distinction of being home to the nation’s highest average sales tax — higher even than California, New York and Massachusetts. Nevadans already earn less than residents in those other states, with private sector median earnings ranking 47th out of 50 states after cost of living adjustments. This is hardly the economic demographic equipped to deal with a billion-dollar sales-tax increase.

The CCEA maintains such a tradeoff must be made if we expect to “fully fund” public education — an argument that is either rooted in deep ignorance of current education funding levels, or outright dishonesty. After all, it’s not as if Nevada is spending pennies on education when the rest of the nation is spending dollars. Our per-pupil spending levels are perfectly in line with states that have consistently higher levels of academic performance, such as Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Florida.

More importantly, we’ve been down this road before. Since the 1960s, per-pupil funding in Nevada has tripled. Just five years ago, Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law the state’s largest-ever tax hike for the ostensible purpose of “fixing education.” And yet, academic performance continues to disappoint.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Making Nevadans poorer by thrusting a billion-dollar tax hike on them isn’t going to change what’s wrong with public education in this state. It’s simply going to make it more expensive.”

Michael Schaus, Nevada Policy Research Institute

NEVADA STATE AND LOCAL TAXES ALREADY TOO REGRESSIVE

Thomas Mitchell
The Ely Times

February 28, 2020

In this presidential election year there has been an ongoing and vigorous debate, nay, a knock-down-drag-out fight over the question of whether the wealthy pay their fair share of federal taxes. There is ample ammo for both sides of that argument.

But when it comes to state and local taxes there is no debate. The tax data from nearly every state shows those tax practices are highly regressive, meaning the poorer citizens pay a disproportionately higher share of their income in state and local taxes than wealthier citizens, which is simply unfair.


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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 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.

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

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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.


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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 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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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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