Hiking cost of everything by 2 percent

To the editor:

Today I was approached by a canvasser outside my local market, asking for my signature on the Education Initiative.

My reading tells me the “Initiative” will add a 2 percent margins tax on the receipts of Nevada businesses doing more than $1 million in annual sales. This is a back-door approach to education funding that can have many negative consequences.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, will pay higher costs for groceries, gasoline, restaurants, clothing, utilities and all sorts of consumer goods. Companies will certainly pass on the cost of these taxes to the consumer.

One truism is “Never vote for a new tax, it will certainly go up later.” The 2 percent number is just the beginning.

This appears to be an effort to circumvent the needed purse tightening finally being implemented by the Nevada state government as a response to much voter pressure. This back-door tax will unfairly impact seniors already struggling to make ends meet. And it will make it harder to attract and retain businesses in Nevada.

I, for one, will not support this initiative. Another tax is a bad idea.



Low-balled cost

To the editor:

Reporter Trevon Milliard (“Aging schools slated for upgrades,” Wednesday) is under the same delusion in reporting part of this story as School District Trustee Chris Garvey was when she said, “I think I could shell out $75 a year.”

Using the language of the ballot question – “The cost for the owner of a new $100,000 home is estimated to be $74.20 per year” – and quoting Lincoln Edison Elementary Principal Jennifer Newton to the effect that, “It’s literally a Starbucks a month,” is just bad reporting.

The median taxable value of an existing home in Clark County is $124,109 (Clark County Registrar, Aug. 3, 2012), making the tax $92.09 a year. For a new home, the median cost is $198,300 (2012 Las Vegas Perspective research report, published by Applied Analysis) making the tax $147.14 – almost twice that of the ballot question example.

In reality, Ms. Garvey’s yearly tax will be $288. That’s because her house has a total taxable value of $307,291 (according to the Clark County assessor’s office) and her total assessed value (35 percent of total taxable value) is $107,552 for 2012-13. At 21.2 cents per $100 assessed valuation, that’s $228.01 per year, or $19 a month. Even Starbucks isn’t that expensive. Citing $75 a year and $6 a month makes the tax sound less costly to homeowners than it really will be.

Furthermore, if the Clark County School District would initiate year-round schooling, they would increase elementary school capacity by approximately 20 percent and be able to close Lincoln Edison and Bell Elementary schools, instead of having to replace them. This figure comes from CCSD Chief Financial Officer Jeff Weiler at the April 26, 2012, bond planning questions session.

And the problems at Lincoln Edison and Bell could have already been dealt with if CCSD practiced prudent fiscal management. In August 2012, the school district “found” more than $44.6 million because of unexpected savings from other capital projects and idle money that had been set aside to buy land for new schools … and immediately decided to spend $6.6 million to build a gym at Moapa Valley High School (as reported in the Review-Journal on Aug. 1) instead of fixing schools like Lincoln Edison and Bell.

Both of those schools were reported to be slated for $20 million replacements. Forgetting about the gym for a moment, how is the remaining $38 million in “found” money being spent? Why aren’t the needed repairs being done?

Information on why $74.20 is a lie can be found at www.7420isalie.com.

Disclosure: I sat on the Clark County Registrar’s Committee to Oppose this ballot question.



That’s an inspection?

To the editor:

In response to Sam Sainsbury’s Wednesday letter, “Water heater anarchy,” let me first agree with the fact that water heaters can blow up, causing damage and injury. However, the argument for the necessity of permits is without merit.

Case in point: I had to replace my water heater because it was leaking. I had to pay for a permit. Once the unit was installed, an inspector showed up to verify it had been installed properly.

What a joke. He entered the garage where the unit was and – while standing about 15 feet away – said, “It looks like a water heater to me.” He then signed the paperwork and left.

I was stunned by his blase attitude and comment. No checking of the venting, or the gas connections, or the relief valve. The cost of the permit was just another government rip-off to pay for an employee to put in an appearance, nothing more. I wonder if all water heater inspections are conducted this way?



Keep up the good work

To the editor:

We all would like to really thank the Review-Journal for exceeding the reporting standards of The New York Times, The Washington Post and NBC.

The Review-Journal is to be commended for burying many stories that could hurt our President Obama. As you know, Nevada is a swing state that the president needs in his column. You helped us greatly by burying such nasty stories as the national debt going over $16 trillion and the Fed chairman recently initiating Stimulus III, even though I and II didn’t work.

Please continue to keep your readers uninformed by running your front-page stories on the Killers musical group, fighters, boxers, poker players, etc.: You have the right idea. Thanks again for refusing to report those nasty news stories that might hurt the president’s re-election chances. Keep up the non-news stories!

Gratefully, on behalf of David Axelrod, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Shelley Berkley,



Confuse a cat

To the editor:

In his letter, David Lyons called “Road Warrior” columnist Richard Lake a sicko. He is not.

Mr. Lyons must not own cats, because one of the “play methods” is using a red laser pointer to interact with cats. They love chasing the dot.

Green laser pointers are dangerous because they can cause eye damage.



UMC is vital

To the editor:

I agree with Dr. Anthony Marion in his Sept. 9 letter. University Medical Center is a public necessity. Closing it would be catastrophic.

They also give great care. A friend of mine, a fellow professional not as fortunate as I, recently fell on hard times. He had a life-threatening illness. Due to no longer having insurance and a lack of funds he ended up in UMC for a period of time. He said, “Jerry, you won’t believe the wonderful care I received there. They never treated me with any less attention than they would a ‘paying’ patient. They showed me the utmost respect and they saved my life.”

I’m lucky enough to have medical insurance and have no personal stake in UMC’s survival. But many folks are not so lucky.



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