a service of NPRI

May 18, 2005 
Vol. 1, No. 13

Nevada Taxpayers Association



Lawmakers grapple with tax-rebate options

By Anjeanette

Reno Gazette-Journal

Two years ago, Nevada lawmakers waged a rancorous battle over the state’s largest tax increase in history.

This session also will close with a tax battle. But this time it’s over how much to give back.

“We’ve collected a $606 million surplus,” said Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville. “We don’t need to spend it.”

When Gov. Kenny Guinn first announced his plan to seek a $300 million tax rebate last year, it met with immediate resistance from many lawmakers.

But political pressure accompanying the Democratic primary for the 2006 governor’s race, coupled with Guinn’s threat to veto the budget if it doesn’t include a rebate, has many lawmakers changing their tune.



Flogging a
Dead Horse

National Center
for Policy Analysis

By Bruce Bartlett

I dON’t believe in coincidences in politics. When I see the Wall Street Journal and New York Times both running big front-page stories within two days of each other on a subject that isn’t remotely time sensitive, I know that something is going on. More than likely, it signals the beginning of an organized campaign by the liberal media to gin up an issue for the Democrats.

When a team is on a losing streak, the best thing the coach can do is line up a game with a cream-puff opponent. Even if the victory doesn’t mean much substantively, it can go a long way toward helping restore his players’ confidence and, hopefully, lead to victories against tougher opponents.

When liberals are on a losing steak, two of the issues they come back to time and time again are racism and inequality.


Back to
the Future
Washington Post
Writers Group

By Robert J.

Our Social Security problem is just one aspect of a larger retirement revolution - an upheaval in medicine, life expectancy, and work. Since Social Security’s creation in 1935, life spans have increased dramatically. Someone who now reaches 65 can expect to live almost another 20 years. [continued]

on China

New York Sun
Staff Editorial

Since 1994, when China instituted a quasi currency board system, the Chinese economy, linked to the greenback as its reserve currency and standard of value, has created more prosperity in that huge country than at any time before in its history. Since 1994, real growth of gross domestic product in China has averaged about 9% a year. During this time, in a country previously plagued repeatedly by unreliable money and a volatile but usually high inflation rate, the Chinese consumer price index has risen only slightly above 3% a year. Japan would die for this kind of economic performance. So would Western Europe. Why would anybody in his or her right mind wish to meddle with this kind of economic performance.


The Rise of the Activist CFO
Strategy+Business magazine

“Activist” chief financial officers are playing a key role in shaping their companies’ operations to achieve the overall strategic mission, according to a new survey of 1,600 senior financial executives by Booz Allen Hamilton and CFO Research Services. [continued]

WHY BusinessNevada

AB 69: A union hammer
against non-union workers

Latest enhancement to the
compulsory unionism ‘two step’

By Steven Miller
Business Nevada

Union bosses protested Tuesday that they’re not out to “gut” Nevada’s right-to-work statute.

What they didn’t mention, however, is that the legislation they’re pushing would remove key worker protections that have long been part of the nearly 60-year-old state law.

Assembly Bill 69 passed the Legislature’s lower house unanimously April 26, after the Republican minority accepted assurances from the Assembly’s Democrat leadership that the latest version of the bill was innocuous.

At the time there was widespread relief in GOP ranks that the initial version of AB 69 was no more. In its first incarnation, the bill would have made Nevada into an “agency shop” state, where nonunion employees could be made to pay fees at about the level of union dues to the very unions they refused to join. Those initial provisions, however, had been removed from AB 69.

But Tuesday, in a hearing of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, lawmakers heard an entirely different account of the legislation. Greg Mourad, legislative director the National Right to Work Committee, based in Washington, D.C., told senators that the bill would, in fact, “sabotage” Nevada’s right-to-work statutes.

In response, Nevada AFL-CIO chief Danny Thompson argued that AB 69’s overt wording only allows a union to request “reasonable reimbursement” when it represents nonunion employees, at their request, in disputes with their employers.

“The bill clearly states the employee must come to us for representation,” added Thomas Morley, representing Laborers Local 872 out of Las Vegas.

There is a good deal more to AB 69, however. The bill would take a highly dubious May 2000 ruling of an infamously political Nevada Supreme Court and seek to embed it in Nevada statutes—before a new, more credible court can revisit the issue.

What’s more, the ruling in question—Cone v. Service Employees Union—applied only to government employee unions. AB 69 seeks to apply that same precedent to every union worksite in Nevada, whether private sector or public sector.

“The amended bill was the best we could do in the Assembly and we were assured it was innocuous,” Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick told BusinessNevada. “The assurances were received in work session after the opposing sides had negotiated the amendment as an appropriate solution. We did not know that the Court decision only applied to the public sector. We learned, after the fact, that the passage of AB69 would apply the decision to the private sector.”

Hettrick said earlier votes by Assembly Republicans against Democrat bills to micromanage Nevada hospitals demonstrate that the minority would have voted against AB 69 had its actual provisions been understood.

“I hate to say it, but we were not aware of the potential impact of AB69 as amended,” he said. “We do our best, but occasionally one gets past us.”

What the Cone v. Nevada Service Employees Union case was really about, according to critics of organized labor, was a new extension of a right-to-work-infringing tactic sometimes called “the compulsory-unionism two step.”

Step one is where union bosses lobby politicians for legislation that gives the union an exclusive monopoly over representation for all employees in a workplace where 50 percent of the employees, plus one, have voted the union in. [continued]

Las Vegas Chamber
issues call to action

Chamber seeks $800 Million in taxpayers' savings and refunds, while calling for education reform

As the 2005 Legislature nears its end, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is supporting six proposals to return and save for taxpayers more than $800 million. In addition, the Chamber is calling for the legislature to support needed educational changes and comprehensive studies.

The proposals:

1: Return $300 Million to Taxpayers.

2: Shore Up the Rainy Day Fund.

3: Lower Taxes.

4: Abolish Public Employee Retirement Subsidies.

5: Revise Millennium Scholarship Guidelines.

6: Reform Education Spending.

The Las Vegas Chamber suggests you contact your legislators and CC the Chamber with any correspondence you send. For more on the Chamber's six pro-taxpayer proposals, and contact information, please access the Chamber's May 13 Legislative Update.

Nearly six in 10 want rebate
of $300 million or more

Las Vegas Review-Journal

CARSON CITY -- Nearly six of every 10 Nevadans who responded to a poll commissioned by the Review-Journal and reviewjournal.com say they want the governor and the state Legislature to rebate to taxpayers $300 million or more of the state’s $606 million surplus.


Rogers back
to bullying, again

LV Business Press

Real answers, not just calling back reporters, will build credibility

The man’s been called a control freak with a bullying management style, an authoritarian character who steps on his subordinates and plays to his superiors. He’s cleared off messy desks by throwing employees’ papers on the floor. Forbidden others from eating at their work stations.

Talking about John Bolton? No, President Bush’s nominee to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nation has his own anger management issues. Instead, meet Jim Rogers, Nevada’s newly selected higher education czar.


Pols have mixed reactions to new CCSN program

By Valerie Miller
Las Vegas Business Press

A trio of state legislators offered mixed reactions to a deal that will see the Community College of Southern Nevada funnel its graduates into a bachelor’s degree-granting program operated by a Denver-based Jesuit university. The deal linking the community college with Regis University is scheduled to begin this fall, transforming the two-year community college into a university-style institution, potentially pitting the community college against the state’s two major universities. .


Hope fading for end
to bank branch taxes

By Kevin Rademacher

In his first year as the head of the Nevada Bankers Association, Bill Uffelman was given a tough task -- turn back a series of taxes leveled against the state’s banks by the 2003 Legislature. With a month left in the 120-day session, the job hasn’t gotten any easier. At a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, members announced that they would hear only spending reduction measures. That put the brakes on any opportunity to pitch the organization’s SB352. The measure would turn back a $7,000 annual per-branch excise fee and a 2 percent payroll tax.



73rd Session 



 Subscribe to BUSINESSNevada

Know a colleague who’d be interested? Forward BUSINESSNevada!