Wednesday, August 20, 2014


It's doom! Doom, they tell you. We're all doomed! And that horrible, evil, no-good margin tax is to blame...

For nothing? Oh, yes. That's right. The Coalition to Defeat the Margin Tax Initiative (aka Nevada's corporate welfare kings) just released a report that was supposed to annihilate The Education Initiative (TEI) with visions of doom and gloom.

And the upshot? Nothing. No really, the best the anti-TEI coalition's commissioned UNLV tax study could produce was inconclusive garblety-goop.

Yet in the mean time, TEI proponents commissioned their own UNLV tax study. And the result of that? Surprise, better education funding means a better economy.

►TEI actually will increase economic activity and create jobs, including as many as 13,000 in 2016 and 10,400 jobs in 2017.

►The positive impacts from new government spending more than offset the negative impacts from the tax.

►Overall, the study concludes: Nevada’s GDP would be boosted by $630 million to $1,020 million in 2016 and $480 million to $790 million in 2017.

Now of course, this seems confusing. How can two studies from the same institution produce completely different results?

Actually, the results here aren't all that different. Even the anti-TEI study conceded that TEI will generate $800 million annually for Nevada public schools if passed. And it didn't offer any definitive findings on economic impact. So that doesn't really challenge the results offered by the pro-TEI study showing actual economic benefits to passing TEI.

Here's what we already know: The status quo is failing us. For all the talk of Nevada's "pro-business climate", our economy hasn't benefitted from it at all. In fact, we're consistently ranked as having one of the worst business climates in the nation.

And why's that? As Elaine Wynn once described Nevada's public education system, "We are grossly underfunded." And as long as we continue underfunding our public schools, we're missing out on economic opportunities. As long as we're shortchanging our schools, we're sabotaging ourselves.

This is why TEI opponents have resorted to silly spin and even sillier straw men. After decades of empty promises, they've failed to provide any real solutions for public education and longer term economic development. But now that TEI (aka Question 3) is on the ballot, they're going all in to kill it... Because they simply don't want to pay their fair share like all the rest of us must.

It's doom, all right. It's doom... For nothing but the status quo. Keep this in mind whenever you hear the usual (corporate lobbyist) suspects scream "DOOM!" over that horrible, evil, no-good margin tax that can actually end the gross underfunding of K-12 public education in this state.

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