The margins tax is a 2% tax on GROSS PROFITS (less some expenses like payroll and cost of goods...) for business earning $1 million or more a year. The union believes the new tax would generate $800 million more for K-12 education - around an 11% bump in K-12 spending. It is a terribly stupid tax. 1) It is not predictable and 2) it won't do Nevada any favors in getting jobs or creating new businesses (especially when you're increasing expenditures on industries you want to grow and diversify).
Steve Sebelius offers a few observations to these objections, calling them "myths" but I don't want address his counterpoints to the tax now. I want to address his misguided belief that more tax revenue can improve education. Apparently, this myth can't be beaten down enough ... willful ignorance and superstitions keep many dumb ideas alive... sigh...
Yup, that's what we'll do with the $800 million...
It is true California has a better job market and a lot of highly educated people...relative to Nevada, anyway. But its not because of their higher taxes or better quality education system. No, California is resting on their laurels (or rather, eating them alive) and their K-12 education system is actually WORSE than Nevada, despite spending more!But the best part is, if we use the revenue from the new tax — assuming it ultimately passes — to make real and significant improvements to our educational system, we may (like California) start attracting more high-tech businesses without having to waive all the usual taxes, because we’ll have a workforce attractive to those businesses.
Looking at the Federal government's latest data on per pupil spending, California spent $1,182 (14%) more per pupil on the operating budget than Nevada. When including debt and capital expenditures California still spends $753 more per pupil.
What do they get for their money? A worse system of education. Nevada routinely beats California in most metrics of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Check the NAEP data yourself!!!
Even when looking at just low-income student results Nevada beats California. Below is a screen shot of the NAEP Data explorer looking at low-income student math scores:
Nevada's low-income students (eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch) saw an 8 point gain between 2007 and 2011. That is great, nearly a grade level improvement in learning scores. California, by comparison improved a mere 3 points.
The result is much the same for 8th grade math. Nevada's low-income students are nearly a grade level ahead of California's low-income kids.
I addressed the Education Alliance of Washoe County's bogus report here and here.
I addressed a bogus report from Save Our Schools here.
I even looked at higher education spending and economic results including employment rates, income and GDP here, here and here (at one point I had a picture of actual UNLV students doing a keg stand on campus...alas that photo is no longer available).
And to rub it in, while there is NO STATISTICAL CORRELATION between spending more and improving student achievement there is a statistical correlation between short state names and high education scores. Since it is silly to believe shortening "Nevada" to "Ne" would improve education (despite a statistically significant correlation) how stupid do you think it is to believe spending more money on a top-down Soviet Style monopoly where few are ever fired for incompetence will actually improve education?
Fact, spending more money on K-12 education is highly unlikely to improve education. Steve Sebelius (like many others) is either willfully ignorant or is misleading the public.
Either way, Sebelius (and all the others who claim spending more will improve education) need to ante up! If your idea fails (as it has continued to do so for 50 years) what do we get in return? How do we hold your failure accountable?
How about this.
If the tax hike passes but fails to create a statistically significant improvement in K-12 education results then the State will put up all $7+ billion in K-12 biennial expenditures up as tax credits to be claimed by parents and donors who help kids attend private schools or another public school on scholarship.
That's right, state wide school choice for everyone. Every penny!
It's time to stop demanding more and producing nothing in return. Put your money where your mouth is "progressives." It's time for you to pay your fair share!