Tax exemption will help the vulnerable

In response to your Oct. 21 editorial urging a “no” vote on state Question 4:

A “yes” vote on this question stops the Nevada Department of Taxation from charging sales tax on life-saving medical equipment ordered by a physician and used by sick, injured or dying patients at home. The cost of a “yes” vote would be 30.8 cents per Nevada citizen per year deducted from the state’s revenue.

A way to visualize this is to imagine a large bucket filled with 4,000 pennies representing the state’s annual revenue. Then drop one penny in the bucket. This one penny represents the amount of sales tax the state would lose if sales tax on home medical equipment were deducted. Most people would agree that this loss is insignificant.

The patients who benefit from this initiative have a variety of diseases and conditions. These include cancer, asthma, emphysema, sleep apnea, pneumonia and a host of orthopedic and neurological disorders. One may be a high-risk infant for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome using a life-saving apnea monitor and another may be a quadriplegic paying up to $1,600 in sales tax for his custom electric wheelchair. These are not wealthy people paying sales tax on a new luxury car. These unfortunate people are required to purchase this equipment simply to survive. It’s not optional.

Nevada is one of the few states in the country with any type of tax on home medical equipment. There is no statute saying that home medical equipment is taxable. It is simply the taxation department’s opinion or interpretation of existing statutes.

Let’s join the vast majority of states that believe taxing our most vulnerable citizens is inhumane and unnecessary. Please vote “yes” on Question 4.

Doug Bennett


The writer is an officer with the Alliance to Stop Taxes on the Sick and Dying.

The Costanza approach

I appreciate the Review-Journal publishing a list of endorsements of the political and judicial candidates. Since I’m an average, middle-class working stiff just trying to get by amid all the rancor, government shutdowns and threats of fiscal cliffs, well, I’m not up to speed on the viewpoints of all candidates. But I know they always tend to toe the party line.

So I will take your published list with me to my local polling station and — vote the exact opposite!

Anthony Vanderveldt

Las Vegas

Had enough

In response to your Sunday story on fuel tax ballot question, “Opposition hard to find”:

Opponents to this tax extension are hard to find because the people most severely impacted by it don’t have anyone looking out for them. I’m talking about the poor and people on fixed incomes.

We’re told the figures are based on a projected 4.5-percent rate of inflation. How could that be? The government is telling me my Social Security check will go up by 0.3-percent in 2017 after having gone up by 0 percent in 2016. How could my cost of living raise be only 0.3-percent but inflation as defined in this question is projected to be 4.5 percent?

How much of my money do you politicians want just so you can keep buying votes? Please vote “no” on the fuel tax extension and tell our elected officials to find the money elsewhere. Enough is enough.

Terry Ostlund

Las Vegas

Old thinking

In your Oct 23 story regarding the gasoline tax extension for road improvements, “Opposition hard to find,” County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said, “No one seems to be able to come up with a better way to make money for these projects.”

Here’s the old thinking coming through again from these unimaginative and unenergetic county commissioners. They just want to continue taxing the old way rather than working hard to change a system that just isn’t going to work anymore because more electric and hybrid cars are reducing the amount of gasoline that is pumped and, therefore, reducing the taxes that are collected.

The commissioners aren’t doing the job they were elected to do. They could commission some studies on how taxes can be raised for roads, devise a plan to tax vehicles on miles driven instead of gasoline used, and work for the future.

Vote out Mr. Sisolak at election time and make these commissioners do their job by voting “no” on Question 5.

Spencer Hawkins


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