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Laxalt Tries to Walk Back Opposition to Historic Bipartisan Education Funding

Today at an event to roll out his education “plan,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt tried to walk back years of bashing the bipartisan K-12 funding championed by the Republican governor and Laxalt’s own running mate. Known as the Commerce Tax, the investment provides nearly $400 million every two years to Nevada’s public schools in exchange for multi-million dollar corporations paying their fair share.

Laxalt said today he wouldn’t “undo what’s in place,” but he “leaves open the possibility” of replacing the Commerce Tax with another revenue source. He also continued to display his ignorance on how much the Commerce Tax contributes to the budget. First he said it’s “less than one percent,” his next estimate was off by about 600 percent, and now today it’s “2.3 percent.” Laxalt wants to be in charge of school funding, but he can’t even keep basic budget math straight.

We know it must be hard for Laxalt to keep his position straight when he’s vying for the endorsement of the governor who has ruled out that possibility as long as he wants to repeal the Commerce Tax, so here’s a reminder of where he stands:

Laxalt’s campaign website, AdamLaxalt.com:

“I’m personally opposed to this avenue,” Laxalt said on the Kevin Wall Show on 99.1 FM. — Ralston Reports, Feb. 2, 2015

“On the Commerce Tax, he noted that he’s never supported the levy and that it makes up ‘less than 1 percent of what we spend and I’m confident we can make up the difference if voters end up changing that.’” — The Nevada Independent, Nov. 1, 2017

Laxalt supports the effort to repeal the commerce tax that could possibly wind up as a 2018 ballot question….‘The commerce tax is less than one percent of overall spending in the state, and I’m confident that it’s not going to hurt education, and we are going to be able to be fine. If the commerce tax is repealed, education will not be hurt,’ he said.” — Pahrump Valley Times, Nov. 10, 2017

He also said he supports efforts to repeal the Commerce Tax, a levy passed in 2015 and applied to businesses that make at least $4 million in Nevada revenue each year.” — The Nevada Independent, Jan. 7, 2018

“I’m not supportive of the commerce tax, for example….I’m not going to agree with [Gov. Sandoval] on everything. We don’t agree on the commerce tax. It’s the bottom line. That’s okay. I’m not going to battle him on it. If it lands on the ballot, it’s something that I would support. I think we should repeal it….I don’t think that if we lose the commerce tax that it’s going to have any negative effect on our budget. It’s less than 1 percent of our overall state spending. I feel very confident that we can make up that gap.” — Las Vegas Review-Journal, Feb. 7, 2018

The Commerce Tax, I was opposed in 2015. I was opposed then, it wasn’t easy to be opposed to the Commerce Tax in 2015, but I felt it wasn’t the right tax for the state. I remain opposed and I’m opposed today,” Laxalt said at a campaign stop in Fernley, NV. — The Nevada Independent, Mar. 25, 2018

“‘When the commerce tax was first proposed, Adam Laxalt said he opposed it,’ [Laxalt’s campaign consultant Robert] Uithoven said Wednesday on Nevada Newsmakers. ‘Adam Laxalt still opposes it today.’” — Nevada Newsmakers, Mar. 29, 2018