a service of NPRI

May 25, 2005 
Vol. 1, No. 14

Nevada Taxpayers Association



Class War
Wall Street Journal

By Philip K. Howard

Something’s amiss when a girl in kindergarten, all of 40 pounds, is led away in handcuffs by police.

That’s what happened a few weeks ago in St. Petersburg, Fla. Equally strange, the whole episode was taped and shown on national TV: a little girl, hair neatly braided, methodically destroying her classroom.

 The assistant principal, arms outstretched as if in a linebacker drill, circles the child but avoids contact. (Is the child a hemophiliac?) The child is steered into the principal’s office, where she continues her destruction. Eventually the police arrive and handcuff the five-year-old. The tape ends.

For as long as there have been schools, teachers have had to deal with unreasonable five-year-olds. But calling the cops isn’t the time-tested way. Let’s rewind the tape and think.

Problem: Temper tantrum in kindergarten classroom. Solution: Ask child to stop tearing up classroom. When she refuses, hold her by the arm, preventing more destruction. If necessary, take her to another room until she calms down.

But the teacher can’t do this. Taking hold of the child’s arm is verboten, a violation of the child’s rights. Touching is taboo, except to prevent harm to others. Doing that could get you SUED. So the five-year-old ends up in handcuffs.

WSJ.com - Commentary: Class War* This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after it is e-mailed.

In Defense of Employment-

Ludwig von
Mises Institute

by Arthur Foulkes

Over the past few decades the traditional prerogative of an employer to fire an employee "at-will" (that is, for any reason whatsoever) has come under legal assault in the United States. Judges in nearly all fifty states have ruled in favor of employees claiming "unjust" dismissal, forcing companies to rehire the employee or pay damages.

Yet despite the emotional appeal of preventing employer "abuses," there are compelling reasons to fully restore the so-called "employment-at-will" doctrine.


NYC charter schools break out ahead of other public schools
New York Sun editorial

The dramatic rise in New York City's fourth-grade reading scores - the highest one-year increase ever achieved by the city's public-school pupils on the state English Language Arts exam - will no doubt serve as vindication of Mayor Bloomberg's management of the public-school system. But it's worth noting that the city's charter schools led the testing gains, achieving even higher scores than public schools overall.


Our Constitution Faces Death by ‘Due Process’
Wall Street Journal

By Lino A. Graglia

The battles in Congress over the appointment of even lower court federal judges reveal a recognition that federal judges are now, to a large extent, our real lawmakers. Proposals to amend the Constitution to remove lifetime tenure for Supreme Court justices, or to require that rulings of unconstitutionality be by more than a majority (5-4) vote, do not address the source of the problem.

WSJ.com - Commentary: Our Constitution Faces Death by 'Due Process'* This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after it is e-mailed.

Forbes: The Tax World Gets Flat & Happy

Apologies to Copernicus and the rest, the world is flat. At least, the tax world. Flat-tax momentum is the big fiscal-policy story of the year in much of Europe, with potential fallout in the U.S.


Temp CEOs
Strategy+Business magazine

With forced turnover up 300 percent since 1995, business has entered the era of the short-term chief.

That giant sucking sound heard in the business world during 2004 was the extraction of chief executives from seats of power.


WHY BusinessNevada

The Ongoing Assault

The Nevada business community must organize for political self-defense.

By Steven Miller

After some 700-plus pages examining 20th Century Communism’s amazing record of mass-murder and terror, the distinguished European scholar-authors of the international bestseller, The Black Book of Communism, ask the simple question: “Why?”

Their answer—the fruit of a long trek through recently opened Soviet-bloc archives covering over seven decades of Communist crimes—has significance for contemporary Nevada.

“The real motivation for the terror,” wrote the Black Book’s authors, “… stemmed from Leninist ideology and the utopian will to apply to society a doctrine totally out of step with reality.” And Leninist ideology itself, they make clear, was little more than the desire to use lethal force against people to mold them into forms dictated by crackpot economic and social theories.

Speaking of utopian schemes totally out of step with reality, let’s now move our attention to Assembly Bill 322, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins and passed out of the Legislature’s lower chamber April 26. Unanimously in favor were the Assembly’s 26 Democrats; unanimously opposed, the chamber’s 16 Republicans.

In AB 322, Nevada’s would-be Governor Perkins advanced the novel proposition that, because major Silver State hospitals are of great importance to the health of Nevadans, their property rights should be voided and their investors and operating personnel legally reduced to state servitude.

“Each major hospital,” says Sec. 7, paragraph 1, of Perkins’ bill, “shall … For the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2006 and for each succeeding fiscal year, provide community benefits and charity care, in that fiscal year, in an amount which represents at least 4 percent of the total operating revenue of the major hospital for that fiscal year.”


Trade group: Nevada
business can expect
property tax shift

A national business tax organization has evaluated the Nevada Legislature’s 2005 property tax legislation and concluded that Nevada businesses can expect higher property-tax burdens in years to come.

The Council on State Taxation (COST), a nonprofit trade association consisting of approximately 570 corporations engaged in interstate and international business, says that the result of Assembly Bill 489, signed April 6 by Gov. Kenny Guinn, is that in Nevada “the property tax burden is likely to shift from individuals to business over time.”

COST also, in a new study, reported that in the years from 2000 to 2004, total state and local taxes paid by business in Nevada increased by 29.3 percent, while total state and local taxes paid by everyone increased by 24.7 percent. The total business share of tax revenue growth was reported as 52 percent.

Nationally, total state and local taxes paid by businesses increased by 17.1 percent, according to the study, while total state and local taxes paid by everyone increased by 13.7 percent.

Doug Lindholm, COST’s president and executive director, says it has become fashionable over the past several years to allege that business are not paying enough taxes to state and local government. But as the COST study shows, the reality of business taxes is quite different than the perception.

In Nevada, the total business tax burden was reported as 31.7 percent property tax; 28.2 percent sales tax on business inputs, 14.9 percent excise and gross receipts, 0.0 percent, 7.3 payroll tax and 17.8 percent licenses and other taxes.

The COST Special Report on state and local business taxes was authored by Ernst & Young analysts Robert Cline, Tom Neubig and Andrew Phillips, with William Fox. Co-author Bob Cline is National Director of State and Local Tax Policy Economics for Ernst & Young.

To download the entire 21-page report, click here.

Wynn: 'Just a stack
of hotel rooms'
Las Vegas Business Press

Steve Wynn defended his $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas last week in a speech to an overflow crowd attending the American Institutue of Architects convention.

Wynn's megaresort has been criticized in recent weeks by writers from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, whose architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, characterized the property as a "mid-rise office tower in Houston, circa 1983."


Where does the
room tax go?

It goes to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which then uses it to often compete against the firms that produced it

An In Business Q & A with Richard Heller, president of the Sands Expo and Convention Center

by Richard N. Velotta

Richard Heller knows how to keep customers happy because he used to be one.

Heller, president and general manager of the Sands Expo and Convention Center, formerly was vice president of trade show operations for the Needham, Mass.-based Interface Group, which owned the Comdex computer trade show.

As the owner of Comdex, Heller knew what it took to keep the show coming back to Las Vegas year after year. Now, the head of the Sands Expo Center sees things from the other perspective, knowing that he has competition that can undercut him in the local market.

Heller has no qualms talking about what he considers to be an unfair playing field and did so in an interview with In Business Las Vegas.


CCSN-Regis deal
sparks more talk
Las Vegas Business Press

A new agreement allowing the Community College of Southern Nevada to funnel students into Regis University needs some reworking, particularly a provision that would see the Denver-based Jesuit university use publicly funded community college classrooms to educate students, said Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel for the Nevada chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"If you have a public taxpayer-[supported] institution giving away space to a religious one, it could be a problem," says Lichtenstein. "Nothing is spelled out."

The deal signed by higher education chancellor Jim Rogers and others would see the community college steer its graduates into bachelor's degree programs offered by Regis.

As a part of the agreement, Regis' former community college students would be required to take six credits of religious studies classes to receive a degree. The program is scheduled to begin this fall.

Community college President Richard Carpenter has defended the program saying that his ex-students who attend Regis would not have been likely candidates to attend the state's two major universities -- the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno.



73rd Session 



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