Your tax rate is whatever your lobbyist can haggle

Pay no attention to the Nevada Constitution. That was written 150 years ago by dead white men who had no concept of what the wheeler-dealer world of 21st century Nevada would be like.

There is no way our lawmakers could possibly live by such suggestions such as: “In all cases enumerated in the preceding section, and in all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, all laws shall be general and of uniform operation throughout the State.”

And there is no way in hell to abide by: “The Legislature shall provide by law for a uniform and equal rate of assessment and taxation …”

It is every man for himself and for every business to cut the best deal it can make.

Thursday evening an Assembly committee approved Assembly Bill 464, which is the governor’s compromise tax plan that sets up a myriad of tax rates for different businesses.

Those who did not get their way are now whining about it — such as Randi Thompson, Nevada state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

She issued a statement condemning the bill and saying:

“Small business is tired of paying more in taxes so the Legislature can give special tax favors to companies that are its flavors of the month.

“The same day the Ways and Means Committee passed AB464, the Assembly approved SB170 to give data centers more tax breaks if they hire just 10 Nevadans. This is in addition to the over $1 billion dollars in tax breaks the Legislature approved for Tesla to create just 6,500 jobs over the next 10 years. In 2012 alone, small businesses created an amazing 15,168 jobs for Nevadans—without asking for any tax abatements or credits.
“I am deeply disappointed with the passage of AB464 that not only increases the business license fee and the payroll tax, but also creates a new tax on general businesses in Nevada. At a time when Nevada is trying to diversify and grow its lagging economy by attracting non-gaming businesses, the Legislature is seriously considering creating a new tax on non-gaming businesses. This tax policy seems to be at total odds with our state’s economic development policy and will only serve to discourage businesses from locating and expanding in Nevada.”
Picky, picky, picky.
Or is it?
Now, I hate to get Washington involved in such things or anything else for that matter, but there is the Commerce Clause, which is supposed to allow federal jurisdiction over interstate commerce. You know, prohibiting one state from placing a tariff on goods coming in from another state, creating unfair advantages for in-state goods.
Creating differing tax rates for battery makers and data centers from all other businesses is little different from a tariff, isn’t it? Never mind creating different tax rates intrastate in violation of our own state Constitution. Never mind that the voters just turned down a gross receipts tax, which is part of the governor’s tax plan.
If all else fails, read the instruction manual.

Tesla batter plant under construction near Sparks. (Reuters photo)



One comment on “Your tax rate is whatever your lobbyist can haggle

  1. Winston Smith says:

    Ain’t fascism grand?

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