Tax bill spurs Fontainebleau redevelopment

The tax reform law championed by President Donald Trump and Sen. Dean Heller is already boosting Nevada’s economy. The proof is sitting right on the Strip.

On the same day that Trump signed the bill into law, New York developer Steven Witkoff announced plans to revive the stalled Fontainebleau resort. The imposing blue building on the north end of the Strip has sat empty since the original project went bankrupt in 2009.

Coincidence? Nope. Witkoff began seeking a loan to complete the project once it looked as if tax reform had a good chance of passing, according to a Bloomberg report. A provision that allows the “full and immediate expensing of capital investments” spurred his decision. He also believes that the tax bill will create long-term economic growth, which is vital when you’re planning to spend $3 billion finishing a resort.

That $3 billion will lead to 5,000 construction jobs and 6,000 permanent jobs, according to Witkoff.

This isn’t the only big project Nevada has seen over the past few years. Backers of the Raiders stadium estimated it would cost $1.9 billion and produce 10,829 construction jobs and 4,122 permanent jobs. Tesla came to Northern Nevada promising $5 billion in capital investment, 3,000 construction jobs and 6,500 full-time jobs.

There are 750 million and 1.3 billion differences between those two projects and Fontainebleau, however.

To get the Raiders to come to Las Vegas, Gov. Brian Sandoval and legislators gave the team $750 million of your tax dollars. To get Tesla to come to Northern Nevada, Sandoval and legislators passed $1.3 billion in abatements, transferable tax credits and other giveaways.

Sandoval used taxpayer-funded bribes to get big projects to Nevada. Trump, Heller and Republicans just boosted Nevada’s economy by letting business owners keep more of their own money.

This is just one example of how tax reform creates growth. Expect thousands of Nevada small-business owners to respond in similar ways, even if their individual investments are $30,000 or $3 million. Because small businesses create the majority of new jobs, that’s great news for every worker in the state. A basic understanding of supply and demand shows that if companies need to hire more, worker pay goes up.

Tax reform will boost worker paychecks by lowering their withholdings and increasing their opportunities to find better-paying jobs.

This reality shows just how laughable Democrats’ rhetoric opposing the tax bill is.

“My constituents deserved real bipartisan tax reform and a simpler, fairer tax code aimed at supporting the middle class, and this Republican-controlled Congress failed to deliver,” said U.S. Senate candidate and Rep. Jacky Rosen in a statement.

Got that? The Democrats’ Senate candidate doesn’t think that a bill which leads to a business creating 6,000 permanent jobs in Nevada supports the middle class.

But when it came to hyperbole, Rep. Dina Titus wouldn’t be beaten.

“With this ‘Job Cuts and Tax Scam’ bill, the GOP, to paraphrase Clint Eastwood, is pissing on our boots and calling it rain,” said Titus in a release.

She then said the bill was “a gut punch to the people in my district.” Ironically, the Fontainebleau is in Titus’s district. You can bet she’ll forget all about piss and punches when she’s trying to attend its grand opening.

Construction on the Fontainebleau provides Nevada voters a 68-story reminder of how Republicans helped them and the economy by passing tax reform.

As Trump would say, that’s “yuge.”

Listen to Victor Joecks discuss his columns each Monday at 9 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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