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Now is not the time to push new taxes

To the editor:

Here we go again. The Nevada AFL-CIO and, of course, the Nevada State Education Association – the unions – want to raise taxes on businesses (“Groups to file petition calling for 2 percent business tax,” Wednesday Review-Journal).

Yes, they want to do it “for the children and for education,” which is their ongoing mantra.

But do we want or need a new 2 percent tax on business profits during the worst economic times in Nevada’s history? No, I think not.

While the union bosses claim that this won’t affect small businesses, as usual this is misleading and false. If you raise taxes on larger businesses, then the additional cost trickles down to both small businesses and consumers. We also know from history that once you place a tax on anything, it is impossible to get rid of it and that income taxes can always be increased by legislators who want to spend more of our tax dollars.

I do have a helpful hint for the teachers union. Have the union bosses take a 50 percent cut in their exorbitant salaries – and they should also cut union dues to the members by 50 percent so they have more of their own money to spend. These changes would reduce the need for salary increases that taxpayers cannot afford and would also save millions of dollars that the unions give in political donations. This is a win-win situation for all – except the union bosses, of course.

Bob Dubin

Las Vegas

Urban neglect

To the editor:

We now have a wonderful new entertainment venue in the city for the populace. What a beautiful and grand place – The Smith Center.

So, getting there, we travel the beautified and well-groomed Interstate 215 to Interstate 15, with its magnificent iron sculptures and the wonderful overcrossing art.

But after we pass the glitz of the gulch, we encounter the graffiti-strewn rooftops of the strip malls before the 41B exit. At the 41B exit (Charleston), the first thing we see are drifts of discarded fast-food bags and plastic bags resting against the chain-link fence, serving as a barrier against nothing. The red gravel is festooned with detritus of inner city life – a trail leading nowhere. There is damaged and destroyed signage, tree stumps from failed irrigation and landscaping. It is a landscape of neglect.

This vast urban wasteland is the introduction of the non-Las Vegan to the glimmering new light of the downtown resurgence? Really? Clearly the “neighborhood beautification program” was not part of the planning for this area.

David Woodward

Henderson

Desert wisdom

To the editor:

In response to your Wednesday editorial, “Save the tortoise!”

As the editorial stated, pet tortoises do not survive in the wild. So how can the natural species be “saved” by deregulating protection?

Wild tortoises were almost wiped out by colds introduced by pets a few years back. The “regulatory burdens” put upon developers created funds which helped save them. If there had been less willingness to turn the “region’s barren public land” into something “productive,” we would not be so over-built.

It seems that the Review-Journal is not only insensitive to the natural environment around Las Vegas, but is callous toward the symbol of desert wisdom: the tortoise.

Marilyn Benoit

Las Vegas

Waste of money

To the editor:

President Barack Obama’s visit here Thursday followed his 154th fundraiser. The trip tied up airport traffic and made a mess.

By comparison, President Ronald Reagan had zero comparable fundraising trips. In fact, at this comparable time, he was in Berlin saying, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” The wall went down and the Cold War ended.

Each trip by the president costs at least $1 million, and each time our military members at the aircraft have to salute him for nor running the U.S. government.

This is shameful, in my opinion.

George P. Dix

Las Vegas

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