The November 2014 mid-term election is still a year away, but the campaigning over a key ballot question should be starting in earnest soon — as reported in this week’s newspaper column, available online at The Ely Times and the Elko Daily Free Press.
The Nevada State Education Association managed to gather enough signatures and survive enough court challenges to have its The Education Initiative go before the voters. The initiative proposes a 2 percent margins tax on all Nevada businesses that gross more than $1 million a year.
The union has estimated the tax would bring in $800 million a year in additional funding for K-12 education.
A coalition of businesses is coming together and expects to start its opposition campaign possibly before the first of the year. There is already a website that spells out reasons to vote against the tax.
Carole Vilardo, president of the Nevada Taxpayers Association, explained how the tax would be assessed.
Once a business exceeds $1 million in gross revenue, it must pay the tax, Vilardo said. Then the business may take one of three deductions: A. A straight 30 percent of revenues, leaving the tax due on 70 percent of revenue. B. The cost of goods sold. C. Employee compensation up to $300,000 per employee. Gaming taxes and the payroll tax are also deductible.
Kelly Bullis’ certified public accounting firm in Carson City has created an online spread that business owners may use to estimate what the margins tax would be for their companies. It may be downloaded from the Nevada Manufacturers Association website.