First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.Martin Niemoller, a German theologian and Lutheran Pastor
It’s interesting that Niemoller calls out three groups – socialists, unionists, and Jews – before they got to him. In fact, recently, Nevada Legislators have called out three groups as well – gaming, banking, and mining– for taxes above and beyond what other businesses pay. What makes these groups special and deserving of paying additional taxes? Evidently our lawmakers feel they are just making too much money. But, perhaps the bigger questions are, when will your industry be targeted and what are we doing about it?
Without fail, when Nevada is experiencing a budget shortfall, our elected officials look to these industries to solve their problems. Mining was specifically singled out at both of the special legislative sessions this year, even though that industry’s tax burden is already greater than other businesses. As just one example, they pay the highest tax rate for the Modified Business Tax, which equates to almost $16,000 per employee compared to the average Nevada business’ tax burden of less that $1,700 per employee.
Not only does mining contribute more than their fair share to the state’s taxes, the industry is vital to rural communities and is known for building infrastructure, providing wages far above the state’s average and contributing substantially to the communities where they are located. In short, our state is fortunate to have mining. The industry has proven to be great corporate citizens. But, at what point do we tax them out of business?
We all know there is no such thing as “temporary” when it comes to additional tax burdens. And, if we sit by silently as they tax other industries, what stops them from deciding your industry is making too much and coming after your business next?
Let’s stop this nonsense while there’s still someone to speak out. I urge you to contact your representative and let them know “We the People” insist on equality in taxation. United we still have a chance of affecting change.
Call to Action: Call, write and email your representative and other elected officials to voice your concern over singling out specific industries for additional taxes. Let them know we will hold them accountable for their actions. Do it now while we still have a voice.
By Whose Authority?
For more information on my Commentary and to see some of my backup research, or if you wonder why I take the position I take, go to www.LyleBrennan.com.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”