Margin Tax Defeated? …Maybe Not

When we think we’ve seen it all, we get delivered another whammy! Do you remember all the commercials and reasons to defeat the ballot question seeking Nevadan’s approval for a Margin Tax? How can we so soon forget the barrage of commercials and editorials aimed at defeating that measure? Heck, I wrote some of them myself. Fortunately, the measure was overwhelmingly defeated… oops, I spoke to soon. If you haven’t heard or read about it, our Governor plans to resurrect a version with some real teeth attached to it.

Similiar to reasons Nevadans were compelled to consider a gross Margin Tax, this new plan is being touted as a funding mechanism for Nevada’s schools. The difference, however, is that, along with the Governor, certain Republicans (so-called pro-business and conservative folks) are now drinking the liberal Kool-aid.

How is this new plan different? Sadly, I haven’t seen any change in this revamped tax other than a rebranding of the name and a few new authors. It is simple; it’s a “Tax and Spend” plan that doesn’t make any more sense than the last one. Don’t misunderstand, I’m neither anti-tax nor anti-education. I’m for taxation and education that make good sense.

It’s only rational; you don’t build on a faulty foundation. Have you never heard that a foolish man builds his house on sand? The fact is our Nevada Education System has failed. We don’t need to continue to add to a failed foundation; we need to demolish it and start over. One ray of light is that our Governor is a big fan of charter schools and the success they are achieving. What is a Charter School? I see several definitions out there, but the following pretty well summarizes them all: “Charter Schools are independent public schools that are allowed to be more innovative and are held accountable for improved student achievement.” For the most part, these Charter Schools are owned by independent business people that are running a business for profit. Every business person should understand the basics of business from the get-go, take care of the customer and the customer will take care of you. Compete, perform and profit from your effort… or you shouldn’t be in business. I think that sums it up, the government should not be in business; they don’t have the experience or motivation to know how a business works. And, they often want to play at business with other people’s money. If it doesn’t work, oh well, they tried. Meanwhile, that cavalier attitude can tax some of our businesses out of existence.

I do need to give the Governor recognition for some of his ideas. He has said that they will have in place and require accountability for any monies spent on the education system and indicated that he would make steps to curtail collective bargaining. Honestly though, what does that mean, especially when you consider that the foundation is flawed? The foundation of this plan supposes that throwing more money at it can fix a failed institution.

Governor and Legislators, bring us an all new Nevada education plan. Use what is working now and tear down everything that is failing. The Nevada business community loves our state and stands ready to help. However, throwing good money after bad doesn’t make any sense.

Business person, contact the Governor and Legislators. Let them know that you don’t want this NEW Margin Tax! It’s time to break the stranglehold that the education establishment has on our school systems and state. Throw out the old ideas and move on to proven programs that will help our children learn and help Nevada improve in national rankings and give businesses just now rebounding from the recession an opportunity to succeed without over-taxation.


  1. Andrew Coulson, “State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 746, March 2014,
  2. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2013,
  3. Governor Sandoval’s State of the State Address:

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