Manufacturers: Taxes, government could reduce their competitive edge
May 16, 2013
Ametherm President Eric Rauch, who heads a Carson City manufacturer, loves his Nevada base and loathes the thought of leaving though all his customers are elsewhere,
One of five members on a panel of manufacturers Wednesday at a breakfast meeting of Nevada Business Connections, Rauch said his business moved to Nevada to make circuit protection devices in a business-friendly environment he wants kept that way. Hoping to stay for decades, he opposes a business margins tax proposal in the Legislature.
It would "make me less competitive" in the world marketplace and prevent reinvesting in his business, including hiring of additional employees, Rauch said.
"Carson City is a wonderful place to do business," he said. "We have no customers in Nevada — zero."
He said Ametherm, Inc., which makes electronic devices called circuit protection thermistors, moved to Nevada in the 1990s from California and most of the firm's customers then were in the United States. Two decades later, he said, half the business is for export.
Walt Owens of Owens Precision, Inc. in Carson City and Mound House said 90 percent of his work goes outside the state and nation. The head of a firm making parts for airplanes and missiles said he will stay in Carson City even if state laws change. But he criticized government efforts to aid education with money, or by other means, as ineffective.
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"I think I could do a better job of improving education," he told the breakfast audience of 50 attending the private-sector economic development group's session at Gold Dust West Casino.
Len Semas of Carson City's Cubix Corp. jumped on government even before Paul Enos, Nevada Trucking Association and the meeting's moderator, asked the question on the state tax issue. Semas said with the national debt at $17 trillion, the economy won't see a true turnaround until that is addressed.
"I don't want to see any more taxes," he replied to Enos' query. "I don't want to see any more government — federal, state or local."
Semas said Cubix, which makes computers, is rebuilding business and recovering from a difficult five-year period. He said the firm on Tuesday got work to supply the new U.S. Coast Guard headquarters outside Washington, D.C.
Also on the panel were David Schuster of Carson City's MC21, which makes metallic composites for the 21st century, and John Colyer of Reliance Parts Corp., which makes diesel parts mainly for agricultural equipment, which is in Minden.
The panel also was asked if Western Nevada College helps manufacturers. Generally, the panel said WNC does a good job, though some noted they wind up hiring and training to promote from within. Rauch said such an issue wasn't why his firm came over the Sierra Nevada.
"Really," he said, "we moved here because it seemed like Nevada wanted manufacturing and California didn't."