By: Jared Fisher
Recently, an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Price Tag for Nevada’s tax incentives finally revealed” (Oct. 21, 2017), captured my attention, both as a candidate for governor and as a Nevada-based businessman and entrepreneur.
The article’s premise that the tax abatements given to companies who locate to Nevada represent a “price tag” that the state has to “pay” shows a basic lack of understanding of how and why the process works.
Nevada’s Tax Incentive Program Helps Create Jobs and Drives Economic Growth
First and foremost, Nevada’s tax incentive program is one of the keys to the growth of our state’s economy. Nevada greatly benefits when new companies migrate to the Silver State, because they generate tax revenue by creating jobs, building infrastructure and supporting other Nevada businesses. These companies, however, won’t choose Nevada for future expansion if they aren’t properly incentivized to do so.
Companies considering relocation look to business incentives to determine the affordability of doing business in that state, as well as to measure a state’s desire and commitment to attracting new business. Tax abatements are at the top of their priority list.
Why a Loss in Tax Revenue Should Not Be the Chief Concern
Both gubernatorial candidates interviewed in the article only see one side of the equation—that the “tax breaks” given to businesses result in a “loss” of tax revenues. One saw a need to “fix these systemic problems” apparently created by the tax abatements, but offered no specifics. The other wondered if the tax abatements were “worth the four million in lost tax revenue.”
This makes no sense. In order to lose tax revenue, the state has to have it in the first place. If Nevada doesn’t offer the tax abatement, companies will opt to relocate elsewhere and the issue of lost tax revenue will become a moot point. You can’t lose what you don’t have. If that happens, it won’t be a matter of how many hypothetical dollars are lost in tax revenue; it will be a matter of how many real dollars are lost in potential tax revenue, salaries, equipment and infrastructure spending, business development and more.
Careful Consideration and Company Vetting is Necessary
This is not to say that tax abatements should be given without careful consideration. As governor, I would take a long, hard look at any company that wanted to come to Nevada and determine with my team whether or not tax abatements would be appropriate for those companies and at what level. In addition, a vetting system would need to be established in order to evaluate how each company might help our state achieve its long-term economic goals. This would include a preference for companies that would help diversify Nevada’s economy.
My Plan as Governor: Diversify the Economy through New Energy Technology
My platform includes a plan to innovate Nevada’s economy by attracting new and emerging industries to the state, including businesses in the renewable industry sector. My vision is to make Nevada the nation’s leader in new energy technology. Thus, as governor, I would actively and aggressively seek out companies in select states that possess a track record in clean energy research, development and implementation. Not only would the renewable energy industry be a boon to the energy independence of our country, but it would also be a boon to the economy of Nevada—both in job growth and compensation. The renewable energy industry has the potential to bring 100,000 new jobs to the state, which would in turn provide a need for more housing, infrastructure and services to accommodate the influx of new workers. All of this and more would help to further boost the economy.
We Must Do All We Can to Make Nevada the Most Business-Friendly State in the Nation
In order to ensure Nevada remains economically prosperous in the decades to come, we must continue to do all that we can to position Nevada as the most business-friendly state in the nation. This involves considering all appropriate and necessary incentives, including tax abatements. As governor, I would not want to risk losing an up-and-coming enterprise—especially one related to new energy—because of an unwarranted fear of losing tax revenues that do not even exist yet. This is why I support tax abatements.
About Fisher for Nevada: Fisher for Nevada is the campaign website of Jared Fisher, 2018 candidate in the Nevada governor election. Jared Fisher is running on a platform for positive, productive leadership for a Healthy Nevada. This includes an emphasis on a diversified economy, a strong education system and clean, renewable energy.