Nevada construction industry group tell legislators “raise taxes”

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After years of out-of-control construction in Las Vegas and other cities in Nevada, the building industry is trying to dig itself out of its worst economic downturn ever.

To help ease its pain, an industry group, Building Jobs Coalition, issued a report telling the state’s legislature, about to convene its 2011 session, to raise taxes and use the proceeds to stimulate job creation for the industry.

The coalition, that represents iron workers, laborers, electricians, contractors and building groups, wants state legislators to increase taxes on gasoline, increase sales tax and property taxes, and assess an infrastructure surcharge on licensed motor vehicles.

The group is also calling for the state to spend $100 million annually to back over $1 billion in bonds to raise money for yet-to-be determined building projects.

The report titled, “Creating 100,000 Nevada Jobs,” suggests the state government use tax dollars to help restore construction jobs, which accounts for about one-third of unemployed workers in the state.

A kick-off rally was held Thursday at the Atlantic Casino in Reno, with a similar group at The Orleans in Las Vegas.

“We’re just trying to make the Legislature know that as they start this new session, they need to put some of us back to work,” said Pat Pusich, a spokesman for the coalition. Even though the initiative is heavily backed by unions and industry officials, it’s expected to be an uphill battle in the state’s capital.

Newly-elected Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval was swept into office on a pledge not to increase taxes, despite a looming $3 billion budget deficit.

A spokesperson for Sandoval said that he “supports job creation, but believes it is best accomplished by private sector growth. The strategy of spending public money we don’t have may yield short-term gains for some, but do long-term damage to the economy as a whole. Since this is the first we’ve heard of the proposals, we are reviewing them with interest. The governor’s top priority is building and fostering a business environment which creates new jobs without adding to the tax burden or spending money Nevada doesn’t have.”

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Comment (1)
  1. Albatwitcher says:

    Another reason they are out of work is competition with illegal construction workers, which is the case here in UT and elsewhere in the western states. If you do not believe me, take a drive around constuction sites, or see whom shows up on a remodel.

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