From the 2013 Session
- an increase on the mining tax
- a 4.5 percent tax on any business with an income over $500,000
- a sales and property tax increase in Washoe County
- an entertainment and admissions tax
- a tax on snack foods
2011 NFIB/Nevada Legislative Victories
Helped cut the size of government
NFIB lobbied for the successful passage of Senate Bill 251 out of that chamber. As of this writing it is also expected to pass the House, but even if it should falter, Gov. Brian Sandoval has promised to implement the important parts of it by executive order. The bill would create a Sunset Commission to evaluate government and services with an eye toward opportunities to eliminate redundant rules and agencies and consolidate the tasks of others. The Commission is one of the top recommendations of the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (SAGE).
Killed three bills aimed at punishing independent contractors
NFIB made defeat of Senate Bills 147, 148, and 242 its top priority of the 2011 session. All three would have made it effectively illegal to be self-employed by substantially narrowing the definition of who an independent contractor could be and what an independent contractor could do. During this recession many people are frustrated at not finding a job, so some are starting their own small business, but these bills would have made that virtually impossible. Additionally, the measures aimed to limit a company’s ability to use independent contractors at a time when many businesses can not afford to hire full-time staff and rely on contractors for needed extra help.
Blocked attempts to increase health-insurance premiums
Every time lawmakers come up with a new medical procedure to saddle health insurers before they allow them to sell policies, the immediate effect is to drive up insurance premiums and push medical coverage farther and farther out of the financial reach of small business owners. Assembly Bill 89, adding acupuncture treatment, was another such mandate that NFIB worked to defeat, and succeeded. NFIB also continued its push to allow insurers the ability to tailor health-care plans to fit their customers’ needs rather than the edicts of state government. This is the only way to broaden coverage to the uninsured.
Defeated a proposed gas tax increase
NFIB opposed a proposal to raise the state’s tax on a gallon of gas. Supporters floated a trial balloon for boosting the gas tax, Assembly Bill 507, by two cents to a total of 19.65 cents. NFIB help popped that balloon.
Killed measures to apply the state sales tax to bottled water and snack foods
Assembly Bill 218 would have applied the state sales tax to include bottled water, which is currently exempt as it considered a food item. Assembly Bill 399 would add a five-cent tax onto snack foods. NFIB helped persuade legislators that taxing snack foods, often called sin taxes, would not bring enough revenue to recoup the cost to the state of keeping records on this income, and that taxing bottled water was an unfair levy on people who need it as much as food.
2009 NFIB/Nevada Legislative Victories
Defeated healthcare mandates for eating disorders and acupuncture
NFIB/Nevada succeeded in stopping two healthcare mandates on eating disorders and acupuncture from passage. Mandates, which are orders by state government to add more and more conditions to basic healthcare plans, drive up the cost of medical coverage and put farther out of affordability range for small business owners.
Stopped anti-employer workers’ compensation bills
Working with other business association, NFIB/Nevada was successful in defeating a number of bills that would have driven up the cost of workers’ compensation rates. One bill would have required an employer, not an employee, to bear the burden of proof in showing an injury occurred at work. Another measure would have created a new cause-of-action lawsuit. Senate Bill 195, a compromise measure, did eventually pass and was signed into law by Gov. Jim Gibbons. Although it includes some provisions NFIB/Nevada testified against, including one that prevents injury awards from reflecting the most recent cost saving medical advances and treatments, SB 195 was far better than what was being pushed by the labor lobby and should not result in significant changes in how the workers’ compensation system is administered in Nevada.
Prevented passage of medical malpractice bill that would have increased premiums
NFIB/Nevada helped defeat Assembly Bill 495, which would have removed the $350,000 cap for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, had it passed. Proponents argued that the removal would only have been for cases of gross negligence on the doctor’s part. But upon closer inspection, it also would have provided incentives to file lawsuits on many alleged cases of gross negligence. Although it passed the Assembly, NFIB helped kill it in the Senate. Had it become law, the cost of insurance premiums would have shot up.
Killed unfair trade practices proposal that would have boosted costs on small business owners
Assembly Bill 22 narrowly escaped becoming law. In spite of NFIB’s opposition, it managed to pass both houses of the legislature, but was vetoed by Gov. Jim Gibbons. The legislature later tried, but failed, to override the Governor’s veto. Had it become law, AB 22 would have opened up businesses accused of deceptive trade practices to expensive litigation, including class-action lawsuits, rather than have such accusations adjudicated, as they are now in the less expensive administrative/governmental process.
Prior Years’ NFIB/Nevada Legislative Victories
Defeated business profits tax
NFIB was instrumental in defeating the proposed 4 percent business net profits tax. This would have taxed small-business owners an additional 4 percent on any net profits.
Defeated gross receipts tax
NFIB led the fight to defeat this legislation that would have levied a 1 percent tax on gross sales to business. Businesses that fund 100 percent of health insurance premiums for their employees would have been exempted from this tax. An undue burden would be placed on small business.
Successfully defended the right to work law, ensuring that employers retain hiring and firing authority
By defending the state’s ‘right to work’ status, NFIB continues to ensure that Nevada employers can make the hiring and firing decisions for their own businesses.
Stopped frivolous lawsuits, helping keep legal and insurance costs down
NFIB/Nevada joined forces with business interests across nearly all industries to defeat Question 4 on the November 2004 ballot, which would have placed virtually no limits on trial lawyers’ ability to file frivolous lawsuits.
Defended Nevada’s right-to-work status
Under the guise of a “fair share agreement” various labor groups launched a direct attack on Nevada’s right-to-work law by attempting to apply a court decision from a public employee case to all workplaces.
Strengthened small-business impact statements
Worked to clarify and strengthen how business impact statements of local ordinances and regulations are developed and produced by local governments.
Defeated immediate and indexing minimum wage increase
Unions attempted to impose an immediate increase in the minimum wage as well as benchmarking it to the federal minimum wage and creating an automatic annual increase based on the CPI.
Lowered the business payroll tax rate
The Modified Business Payroll Tax for businesses (except financial institutions) was lowered to .63 percent (down from .65 percent) for the 2005-2007 biennium. The reduction expires on June 30, 2007 unless extended by a future legislature.
Supported replenishing the Rainy Day fund
Nevada’s Rainy Day fund was drawn down significantly in the 2003-2004 budget. This year’s revenue increases were, in part, placed back into the fund to hopefully lessen the need for increased taxes in future years.