Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller kept up his war on small business owners and entrepreneurs this month, persuading the four Democrats -- who out-voted the two Republicans -- on the Nevada Legislative Subcommittee on Regulations to repeal the exemption from the state's $200-a-year penalty for small, home-based businesses that dare to protect themselves legally by forming a corporation.
"An estimated 60,000 Nevada businesses will now be assessed a $200 annual fee," reported one media outlet. "The fee will be imposed immediately on those who file for new business licenses and on those that renew existing licenses, a spokeswoman said."
It's estimated that this decision will take $10 million out of the Nevada economy and give it to the government. And that was before Gov. Brian Sandoval announced his plans to take an additional $620 million out of the private economy by once again extending the "temporary" 2009 tax hikes in his budget, which includes doubling the business license fee.
Excuse me, but why do citizens need to pay for an annual government "permission slip" to start, own and operate any business in the first place? If the geniuses in Carson City really want to spur economic development and job creation, they would repeal this unnecessary and offensive license fee altogether.
Anyway, the Review-Journal reported that, "The vote came after Legislative Counsel Brenda Erdoes said limited liability companies (LLCs) are not 'persons' as the law requires to be eligible for the exemption."
Not persons? Really?
My wife and I formed an LLC last fall for a small, home-based business. And contrary to Ms. Erdoes' contention, my wife and I consider ourselves to be, in fact, persons. Indeed, I confirmed that fact with my three children -- who not only believe mommy and daddy are persons, but claim they are, too!
In the old days, individual "persons" would start a small business as a "sole proprietor." However, thanks to the explosion of lawsuits against anybody and everybody by ambulance-chasing slip-and-spill lawyers over the past couple of decades, such "persons" have been forced to seek the legal protections of incorporation.
Indeed, if anyone in this matter shouldn't be considered a "person," I'd suggest it's the personal injury vultures who have, among other things, successfully rendered the playground merry-go-round and see-saw all but extinct.
Ross Miller has proven to be the most anti-business secretary of state Nevada has ever seen.
But what's the excuse for those four Democrat legislators -- state Sens. Mo Dennis and David Parks, and Assemblywomen Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Debbie Smith -- who voted to stick it to thousands of legitimate Nevada home-based small businesses even after Miller's attempt to nail them failed to pass in the regular 2011 legislative session?
They all should be ashamed of themselves.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, founder of CampaignDoctor.com and blogs at MuthsTruths.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.