Key Facts About the Margin Tax Initiative
Question 3 on Nevada’s November 2014 statewide ballot asks voters to approve a complex “Margin Tax Initiative” that would supposedly benefit education. In fact, this deeply flawed tax measure would damage Nevada’s struggling economy, cause the loss of thousands of jobs and force consumers to pay more for food, housing, utilities and healthcare – without guaranteeing more funds for our schools or better educations for our kids.
It’s worse than it seems
“This 2% ‘Margin Tax’ would be on gross revenues, not profits, so it’s the equivalent of a nearly 15% business tax. That would make Nevada one of the five highest taxed states in the country for businesses.”
- Carole Vilardo
President, Nevada Taxpayers Association
A whole new state tax
The Margin Tax Initiative would impose a whole new state tax on Nevada businesses. Businesses with more than $1 million in annual gross revenues would be subject to a new 2% “margin tax,” regardless of how much, if any, of their revenues are actual profits.
No accountability, no guarantee of more funds for schools
Promoters claim the tax is for education. But the law lets the legislature divert the funds to anything. Moreover, Question 3 contains no guidelines on how any funds that might go to education would be spent. It’s a blank check the politicians and bureaucrats could spend however they want, with no oversight and no accountability.
Employers would have to pay the tax even if they have no profits and are losing money. And, the tax would be imposed on the businesses that provide most of the jobs in Nevada: major employers and thousands of small businesses with gross revenues above the threshold, including farms, restaurants, grocery stores and other local retailers. The “businesses” exempted by the measure are mostly one-person operations with no employees.
Question 3 would increase the tax burden on Nevada employers by hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Economic studies show that would cause the loss of thousands of existing jobs and make it extremely hard to attract new businesses and jobs to Nevada.
Higher consumer costs
Increased costs imposed on businesses providing goods and services in Nevada would ultimately be passed on to consumers. This would force Nevadans to pay higher prices for everything from food, clothing, gas, water and electricity to housing, insurance and healthcare – hurting those who can least afford it.
Promoters of 3 know everyone cares about education. But their costly, deeply flawed measure doesn’t ensure a better education for our kids. What it would do is hurt Nevada employers and our economy, put thousands of Nevadans out of work, discourage businesses from growing, and increase prices consumers pay for food, shelter, utilities, healthcare, and other vital goods and services.
That’s why a coalition representing tens of thousands of small and large employers, community leaders, parents and consumers urges NO on 3.