KNPR

Nevada Controller Ron Knecht Helping To Repeal New Tax Plan

Conservative Republicans are still angry that Nevada lawmakers approved a $1.1 billion tax package this last legislative session that ended in June. 

To express their anger, a number of political activists have launched an effort to repeal part of the tax package.

State Controller Ron Knecht, who publicly opposed the taxes during the legislative session, is helping coordinate the repeal efforts.

He told KNPR's State of Nevada that they're focusing specifically on the commerce tax, which imposes a tax on businesses making $4 million or more a year.  

"The commerce tax is one of the worst kinds of taxes you can have," Knecht said, "It's economically destructive and this one is particularly pernicious."

He said voters overwhelmingly rejected a similar tax this past November when they voted down the margins tax. According to Knecht, the commerce tax is about 1 to 2 percent of the general fund budget.

During the legislative session, Knecht released an alternative budget that failed to gain traction among lawmakers. He said his budget would have filled Nevada's budget gap with cuts and new "non-tax revenue" sources.

Knecht does not agree that a big boost in Nevada's education budget is actually needed.

Support comes from

"The first thing is that it is completely false, the picture that's been painted, that we haven't spent on education," he said. 

He said education funding in the state has gone up 23 percent on top of inflation and on top of student head counts.

"It's not how much you spend. It's how you spend it," Knecht said, "We have these categorical programs, which is essentially throwing money at the teacher's union to increase their head count and increase their political power and buy them off and that's what the governor and the legislature did."

The group is even targeting some lawmakers who supported Gov. Brian Sandoval during the session for recall.

Guests

Ron Knecht, Nevada Controller

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