Anti-tax coalition forum at NBC stirs controversy

A panel involving the Coalition Against the Commerce Tax will make a presentation at Wednesday’s Carson City breakfast meeting of the Nevada Business Connections (NBC) organization.

The appearance of Nevada State Controller Ron Knecht and others challenging Gov. Brian Sandoval’s administration and 2015 Legislature’s tax program prompted public criticism from at least one representative of business. Aaron West of Builders Alliance said even though Kris Holt, NBC’s director, said the presentation just offers a different perspective, such a forum fuels a firestorm.

The breakfast meeting Wednesday at the Gold Dust West on U.S. Highway 50 East begins at 8 a.m., though doors open for networking at 7:30. Cost is $25 for members, $35 for most guests.

Holt, meanwhile, reports he already has 40 commitments to attend, 13 of them from manufacturers. He predicted a greater than normal turnout, but said neither he nor his organization is taking action to support the coalition.

“I’m not signing any petition,” said Holt, whose private economic development membership group tries to lure industry or other business to the region. The group holds alternate monthly breakfast meetings in Reno and Carson City.

West, in questioning Holt’s program, said he contacted various persons listed as NBC advisory board members to express both surprise and disappointment with the appearance by Knecht, Assemblyman Jim Wheeler of Douglas County, who represents District 39, and Theresa Catalani of NV 50.

Also appearing for a separate program presentation, according to Holt, is Chuck Barnett, president and CEO of Dura-Bond Bearing Co.

West acknowledged no one courted new taxes, but most understood education needed funding and his own organization had been involved to make sure prospective tax clawback provisions, and other matters, were included in the revenue-raising package to make it as palatable as possible to business. He expressed surprise upon contacting various people listed as NBC advisory board members to learn some actually disavowed such membership.

Holt, for his part, said he was just providing a forum and manufacturers want to hear from coalition representatives. Regarding his NBC advisory board, Holt said he has removed one who requested that but was happy to provide the spot to someone more active in NBC.


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