Las Vegas Sun

March 1, 2015

Currently: 61° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Unions to seek initiative for business profits tax

The state’s teachers and labor unions will file a business profits tax initiative Wednesday, said Danny Thompson, head of the state’s AFL-CIO.

The tax would be on business’ net profits of more than $1 million a year, at a rate of 2 percent. Thompson offered a rough estimate that it would raise $1 billion every two years, a massive sum for a state with a general fund budget of about $5.5 billion for two years.

“Our tax system is broken,” he said. “If we don’t fix it, we’ll never fix our educational system. If we don’t fix our educational system, we can never diversify our economy.”

The money will be earmarked for kindergarten through 12th grade education.

Although the group supports phasing out the state’s tax on payroll, called the modified business tax, it will not be part of the initiative.

The group will have until November to collect more than 72,352 valid signatures. If successful, the proposed language will go to the 2013 Legislature, where lawmakers will have 40 days to pass it, reject it or offer an alternative to voters. If it’s not passed, the initiative would go on the ballot in 2014.

The initiative is sure to be opposed by conservatives and business groups, who have guarded Nevada’s status of only one of three states without a personal or corporate income tax.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, has said he opposes using the ballot to enact policy changes.

A tax initiative has been discussed since the summer of 2011, when pro-tax forces were frustrated by the Legislative process. But a coalition has been hampered by disagreements about language and ambivalence from potential private industry backers, like gaming and mining.

Thompson said that the coalition is still evolving.

“People want to see it, see that it is going forward,” Thompson said. “Until that happens, it’s just talk. Tomorrow, it is more than talk.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 8 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Yet another DOA union idea.

  2. Unfortunate waste of time. We need to be cutting taxes and spending. As population flees the state, it's time to downsize everything. And after late June, some more of the illegal invaders will figure out it's time to go home. So K-12 is no longer a growth industry. Ditto UMC waiting lines. With any kind of luck the Legislature will mandate proof of citizenship to qualify for social welfare benefits and we can cut back 25-50% of costs there.

  3. First place to start is with the school district is the 6 figure salaries that are made by executives of the district. Since the economic decline, and the subsequent population decline, there has not been a commensurate reduction for these executives.......while everyone else does their part. Greedy Bast* all about the Union as is typical.....

  4. Tax the money leaving the state going to the thug unions. TAX THE UNIONS FIRST.

  5. Make the tax $5. per business and $1. per residential address per month, to be used only for capital requirements, not salaries, benefits or personnel costs of any kind.

    Refuse to pass it if it isn't tied to the removal of tenure, written evaluations done by professional evaluators paid from the new tax and independent of the teachers union. Make retention and promotions performance based with those in class evaluations as 25% of the report value.

  6. "Gov. Brian Sandoval has said he opposes using the ballot to enact policy changes."

    Sandoval insists the voters stay out of policy decisions to run the State. That's how the fat boys pick our bones and law becomes the instrument of euthanasia for a Democracy.

  7. Clyde you may be onto something. The unions SHOULD lose their tax exempt 501(c) non-profit status since they delve deeply into politics and are not eleemosynary.

  8. eleemosynary? Really? Someone got a "Word of the Day calendar for Christmas.