Not that anyone out there gives a rat’s patootie about what some blogger says about this issue………… I will still sound off in a response to Scott Muelrath of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, who appeared on Ralston Reports (@RalstonReports ) TV show ( http://www.ralstonreports.com/tv-show/scott-muelrath-and-hugh-jackson ), where Mr. Muelrath debated the pending EDUCATION INITIATIVE (TEI) ballot question with Hugh Jackson ( @JHughJackson ).
First off, let me say, that it’s no great shock that any & all Nevada based “Chambers of Commerce” are coming out against this ballot question……..it’s their primary job to promote business & thus, any form of business taxation is deemed public enemy #1 by every chamber across the state……….Nevada prides itself on super, duper, low business taxes………which allows businesses to grin ear to ear as they trot to the bank to make vast deposits, knowing that it’s all about them here in Nevada!! (That a good amount of those deposits end up going to corporate HQ’s that are not located in Nevada is another issue……looking at you mining & big retail!)
Back to the Henderson Chamber (hereto fore known as HCC) talking points:
From a press release, the HCC claimed this: “It’s a poorly worded initiative that has no accountability, and there’s no guarantee the money would increase the educational budget in individual schools & classrooms – The HCC is aware of both local businesses & businesses that are considering locating here that will either move operations from the state or opt to pass over Nevada if this initiative passes. It’s a disincentive for businesses to relocate or expand in Southern Nevada”
Ok, here’s my thoughts, muddled & warped as they may be – “”there’s no guarantee the money would increase the educational budget”” This is a favorite line of TEI opponents, they cry that the money will not go to schools?!?! Let’s go right to the law as it’s written & let’s look at SECTION 1 (right at the beginning) and what wording do we have?? It is this: …..requires that the proceeds of the tax be used to fund the operation of the public schools in this State for kindergarten through grade 12.
Don’t believe me? Read the law for yourself right here & it won’t take long to see SECTION 1 where the above citation lives: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Bills/IP/IP1.pdf
Mr. Muelrath stated that companies are signing short term leases so they can bail out if the TEI passes.
I call BS on any business owner who, in a rising real estate market climate, would sign a short term or month to month lease when they must know lease rates are going up (unless his business is already teetering)…….why not lock in a lower lease rate before you wait 6 months or a year or whatever & end up paying a higher lease rate or even lose your space to someone else willing to sign a longer term deal!?!?!
I myself, just signed a 2-year lease for my piddly office space in Henderson, and, GASP, I fully know the TEI is on the ballot……and you know what? I have a LOWER rental rate than the attorney down the hall who pays more for less space!!! By going month to month, the landlord wanted extra money……..because they want assurances they will have a leased building & not have tenants moving in & out on whims.
All righty then………so let’s say Ding-Dong Distributing signed a short term lease & is just waiting to see if the TEI passes so he can box up all his inventory, call in the movers, and pack up his business and head for……….where?!?! Arizona, California? Utah? Well they all have personal Income tax AND business taxes?!?! Good lord, what to do, what to do?!?!
Now, our whiz bang business tycoon, is spending decent $$$ on movers, packers, new leases, new tenant build-outs, new business licenses, new incorporation’s & potentially new hires (unless he brings along his current staff at some expense)…………so after the fit of temper & all this moving & relocating, perhaps it might have been less costly to just stay put and see what, if any, of the TEI tax he might have had to pay!!!
This brings me to my final thought of this rant………The TEI as it is written is set for 3 years………then it can be amended after seeing the impacts on revenue and business……….but for the FIRST TIME in NEVADA history, business will be asked to pay into the coffers to aid a miserably underfunded K-12 education system, that in it’s current sate, is a greater hindrance to Nevada attracting decent paying jobs.
Get the danged law in place……….commit businesses in Nevada to becoming a partner in funding education…………and if there’s gasping & wheezing from some companies, then let’s amend the law after 3 years & we can get a grasp of the realities.
Big box retailers & big space eaters in office & industrial circles generally sign leases longer than 3 years (they want to know their rental rates & they want them locked in)………..so if Walmart or CDW can sign 3, 4 , 5 year leases, they can surely ride out the initial 3 years of TEI and we can all revisit the situation & tweak the numbers.