In an on-camera interview with conservative columnist Victor Joecks of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt reiterated his desire to repeal Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval’s landmark education investment, known as the Commerce Tax, and did not offer a plan for how to make up the loss in funding, despite asserting, “we do not plan on reducing education spending.”
“I don’t think that if we lose the Commerce Tax, it’s going to have any negative effect on our budget,” Laxalt told Joecks. “I feel very confident that we’re gonna be able to make up that gap.”
But Gov. Sandoval sees things differently. “Anyone supporting a repeal of the Commerce Tax must explain to Nevada’s children, families and businesses which education initiatives will be cut if it is eliminated,” Sandoval said.
Laxalt has repeatedly promised to repeal Sandoval’s signature education investment, drawing sharp criticism from the governor. Laxalt’s plan to repeal the funding mechanism could cost the state over $160 million in 2019.
Laxalt also referenced a recent meeting with Gov. Sandoval and the state school superintendent, saying the superintendent “felt very confident that things are moving in the right direction.” Laxalt did not mention, however, that the superintendent also said that repealing the Commerce Tax would be “detrimental” and would “impair our ability” to help Nevada’s students, which led to an awkward exchange between Laxalt and Gov. Sandoval.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“Laxalt continues to charge in the opposite direction of Sandoval by ripping the governor’s biggest legacy. While leaders from both parties warn of the damage repealing the Commerce Tax would cause to our schools, Laxalt plugs his ears and pushes a vague proposal that simply doesn’t add up. As Sandoval said, Adam Laxalt owes answers to Nevada’s families and teachers as to which programs he would eliminate as a result of his cuts to our schools’ revenue stream.”