Tax or Fee…What’s the Difference?

I am very concerned that the “Sunset Taxes” are now considered by some as revenue that will not go away. The people of Nevada were promised that the Sunset tax hike would be temporary to get us through the housing crises in 2009 and that this emergency step would expire in 2011. Since first implemented, many candidates campaigned in 2010, and again in 2012, including our Governor that they would end these taxes. Instead they have been extended twice. No longer is there even talk of ending the Sunset Taxes as promised, leaving Nevadans weary that government just can’t be trusted and will continually find ways to tax and spend and tax some more.

To add insult to injury, hands are out for yet another tax tsunami that remarkably resembles what Nevadans just voted down overwhelmingly. When did our elected officials gain the ability to ignore the will of the people who elected them to serve? Nevadans know and understand our school system needs improvement, and they know and understand they have no more money to give. They sent that message loud and clear at the ballot box on November 4, 2014.

While I applauded Governor Sandoval’s sincere desire to improve education, I disagree with the method. We have consistently provided more and more funding for education with no improvement. It is time for real change and ideas such as school choice, vouchers, and many other methods that other states have implemented with proven success. There is no sound reason for Nevada to ignore proven results of other states. We can improve many areas in education without increasing funding. Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer.

Now is not the time to raise taxes on business. Many Nevadans are still out of work and many are stuck in part time positions working two, sometimes three jobs just to get by. Likewise, businesses are also struggling to keep the doors open. Adding a new tax or fee, no matter what you call it, will have a negative impact on our already strained job market.

As a business owner, I understand how these taxes will hurt business and in fact kill even more jobs. Expanding business is necessary to create good paying jobs. The proposed taxes will keep new businesses from coming to Nevada, prevent new startups, and cause further job loss as small business owners are forced to cut expenses, including hiring, and wages in an attempt to meet their tax obligations.

If it’s good for Tesla it’s good for all business owners: The Tesla deal is a good example of how when taxes are reduced, when regulations are reduced, business will come to Nevada. We should and can apply the same principle that brought Tesla to other businesses including current Nevada businesses, and create good paying jobs and a thriving economy that offers opportunity and where all can prosper.

The State of the State speech took many by surprise, particularly Republicans that adhere to the party platform of smaller government and lower taxes. With our majority in both houses and holding all constitutional offices, most believed not only that we could, but that we would govern as fiscal conservatives.

When I asked for your vote, my promise to you was to find ways to make government smaller and more efficient. I intend to keep that promise and oppose the proposed tax increase and encourage other Assembly members to do the same. Government must learn to operate within its means just as we all do in our personal lives.

Brent Jones