By Steve Gunn
CARSON CITY, Nev. – A union-sponsored proposal to impose a new tax on Nevada businesses, supposedly to increase education funding, is not everything it’s cracked up to be, according to the Committee to Protect Nevada Jobs (CPNJ).
That’s why the committee has filed a lawsuit in Carson City District Court, arguing that the wording on petitions to put the tax proposal on the November ballot is “deceptive,” “incomplete” and in violation of state law.
The tax proposal is the brainchild of the Nevada Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union. If approved by voters it would impose a new two percent levy on businesses that gross more than $1 million per year. The union says the tax would produce about $800 million in new revenue to fund public schools.
Union supporters are currently circulating petitions to put the tax proposal on the ballot.
But Josh Hicks, an attorney representing the CPNJ, said there is nothing in the petition language that would guarantee that a single penny of new revenue is spent on education. In fact, there’s no language that would prevent the state from decreasing school funding, even if voters approved the new tax, according to Hicks.
While the union is trying to give the impression that the tax would only target large, successful companies, that’s not the case, Hicks said. Many unprofitable and failing businesses gross more than $1 million per year and would be included on the new tax roll, he said.
“Increased taxation on failing businesses is certainly not going to improve the education rate,” Hicks told the Lake Tahoe News.
“Quite clearly, this initiative is designed solely to increase general tax revenues and to take advantage of citizen’s concerns about education in order to mislead them into signing the petition and, later, into voting for it. Nevada law is quite clear in prohibiting such deception.”
We would like to add one more thought for Nevada voters to ponder. Whenever teachers unions push for new taxes for “education,” most of the resulting revenue ends up funding higher teacher salaries, more expensive employee benefits and other perks that have no connection to student learning.
These types of taxes tend to be “teacher taxes” that provide no benefit for children.