A margin tax study released by the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) is once again in the spotlight. Internal documents obtained by Ralston Reports producer Dana Gentry found that UNLV Interim President Don Snyder was contacted by gaming executives objecting to the study.
All three executives, including Boyd Gaming’s Keith Smith, expressed displeasure with the study that wasn’t as critical of the proposed 2 percent margin tax on Nevada businesses as other studies had been.
Snyder has maintained that pressure from the gaming industry did not cause him to question the work of CBER economist Stephen Brown and his colleagues. However, less than a day after the study was released, UNLV issued a press release distancing itself from the study.
“The CBER report does not represent the position of views of the university,” Snyder said. “UNLV did not commission the study.”
Snyder adds that while CBER is part of the university, “it does not form part of the university’s day-to-day operations nor is it functionally aligned with our broader initiatives. It is an independent center.”
In an email, UNLV spokesman Tony Allen declined to participate in a discussion with KNPR's State of Nevada about whether UNLV was pressured by gaming industry executives to question the CBER’s margin tax study.
Dana Gentry, producer, Ralston Reports and News 3
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