Letter to the Editor,

Undisclosed money in elections undermines voter confidence in the democratic process, and keeps us in the dark about who is actually funding campaigns supporting and opposing our local candidates.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has the authority to require publicly traded corporations to disclose any money they spend to influence elections – and more than one million people have asked the agency to do so.

The SEC can act now, without waiting for Congress or the President.  While the agency dallies, corporations continue to spend our money – money we’ve invested in 401(k)s and for rainy days – to bombard us with sleazy campaign ads through unaccountable dark money groups.

The SEC owes it to voters and investors to mandate transparency. The agency should act without delay to restore some integrity to our elections.

Thank You,

Delaine Spilsbury

To the Editor,

Tom Bath of Bath Lumber called me last week after hearing me on KDSS radio talking about Question 3. this is the question that will be on your ballot this November to create a new two percent “margin” tax on business in Nevada. He called to ask me what he could do to help stop this bad tax.

Tom has been a member of the NFIB since 1974 and is one of the business owners I count on to tell me how government is impacting business; and he tells me this tax is bad for business.. I appreciate his call, and his willingness, to do more to educate voters about Question 3, and why they should vote “no.”

I’m a small business owner myself, and I’m more than willing to pay taxes as long as they are assessed equally and don’t adversely impact one person or business over another. Question 3 is not that kind of tax.

This tax is complex and has different definitions for “costs” than the IRS, which means many businesses will have to keep two sets of books. Business sectors are treated differently, meaning some businesses, like retailers, restaurants and realtors are hit harder than other sectors.

Businesses operating at a loss would still owe this tax, as the tax is based on gross revenues, not profit. It’s the equivalent of a nearly 15 percent business tax, twice that of California. It would make Nevada one of the five highest taxed states in the country for business.

This tax would require Nevada to essentially create its own IRS and necessitate the hiring of 300 new state employees.

It will increase your health care costs, your electricity bill and your food bill, as no business is exempt from this tax. Even if a business already has an industry-specific tax— like hospitals, insurers, realtors and utilities do— they will have to pay this new tax.

The tax is expected to raise about $800 million a year and would be deposited into the state’s school account, but there is no guarantee the Legislature will not then reduce existing funding to compensate for the increase from the tax; thus not guaranteeing that the funds for education will increase.

There is only one statewide organization supporting this tax— the state teacher’s union. Yet they have yet to say how they will spend these dollars or how this huge increase will actually improve education.

The state AFL-CIO originally worked with the teachers to get signatures for the initiative when the tax rate was 0.9 percent. Then the teachers doubled the rate, and now the AFL_CIO is opposing the tax. No one in leadership in either the Democratic or Republican party has endorsed the tax.

According to Applied Analysis of Las Vegas, we would lose 8,860 jobs in the first year. Incomes will fall be approximately $413 million annually.

This is a bad tax. That is why I’m asking voters to join the coalition to Stop th Margin Tax, www.stopthemargintax.com, and vote no on Question 3.

Randy Thompson

Nevada State Director, National Federation of Independent Businesses.