Las Vegas Review-Journal: Sandoval disagrees with Laxalt plan to eliminate commerce tax
Gov. Brian Sandoval said Tuesday he disagrees with Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s proposal to eliminate the commerce tax.
Sandoval responded to a report in the Nevada Independent that Laxalt, expected to announce a bid for governor in coming weeks, wants to repeal the levy sought by Sandoval and approved with some Republican support in 2015.
“I think it is going to hurt kids. I think it is going to hurt teachers. I think it is going to hurt parents,” he said in response to a question after the Board of Examiners meeting. “It would hurt our K-through- 12 system.”
Sandoval said the tax on businesses with gross revenues that exceed $4 million annually will bring in $391 million over the current two-year budget, every dollar of which is going directly to public education from Zoom schools to autism programs.
Nevada has the highest level of employment in the history of the state and unemployment is the lowest since the recession, he said.
“It has not hurt our ability to recruit great companies to this state,” Sandoval said. “The companies have said they thought it was good that it is all going to the benefit of their employees and their families. Certainly they want a good education system because that translates into a strong workforce.”
“It’s going to hurt kids, going to hurt teachers, it’s going to hurt parents,” he said. “Every single program would be eliminated.”
Sandoval said Nevada’s growth is No. 1 in the country and the tax “has not hurt our ability to attract great companies to the state.”
He said businesses aren’t objecting to that tax at all because the revenue it raises “goes straight into education.” He said the commerce tax has only been raised as an issue by one business out of the many he has talked to about locating in Nevada.
He also questioned where Laxalt plans to cut that nearly $400 million out of the budget asking what he would do to cut spending.
Despite the proposed cut in revenue, Laxalt has said one of his goals is to strengthen public education and to expand the programs aimed at early age literacy like Read By Three.
“If you’re going to cut taxes, then you’ve got to answer the other side of the question,” said Sandoval.
Sandoval said he hasn’t talked to Laxalt about the proposed commerce tax repeal. Laxalt was out of town Tuesday following the Board of Examiners meeting by phone. Sandoval said Laxalt hasn’t talked to him about the office of governor either.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said today that Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s proposal to repeal the commerce tax would be devastating to education. He said it would hurt students, teachers and parents.
The commerce tax on businesses brings in $391 million every two years, and it all goes to education, Sandoval said.