Nevada businesses with big payrolls could save a lot of money this year if a tax cut is approved by the state.
Although bill drafts haven't yet fully revealed what's in store for business this legislative session, the talk around the capital city is that changes are coming in education and taxes.
"I think we may be able to look at a decrease in the business tax from .65 percent of payroll to .62 percent," said Bob Crowell, an attorney and Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce board member.
He said Thursday that this will make the most difference to businesses with a large payroll budget.
A decision could be made as early as May, following the completion of the budget and release of tax projections for the next two years.
Ron Weisinger, executive director of the Northern Nevada Development Authority, said reducing the payroll tax will help his organization recruit more business to the Silver State.
"When you talk about the total number of dollars it's really insignificant, so why not give us an edge and make it easier to recruit business," he said.
A tax increase could come elsewhere. A $3.8 billion deficit for road infrastructure, projected for the next 10 years, could affect other taxes, such as the gas tax and real property tax, Crowell said.
"There will be a large discussion on how we're going to fund that shortfall," he said.
Education should also be a big concern for business, Crowell said. All-day kindergarten has attracted a lot of interest, and its merits are debated hotly.
"But I think business ought to be more concerned about the potential funding for vocational education programs," he said. "Because it provides a skilled labor force for industries."
For Carson City, this could mean that vocational education programs will be expanded at the high school. Carson High has video production, automotive and culinary programs. It could gain more funding for a construction program, said Crowell, who also sits on the school board. The state could also gain freestanding regional vocational schools.
"The business interest is, whatever we spend money on, it (should be) a quality education," Crowell said. "They are looking at the end product."
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