MGM Opposes Nevada Education Tax

MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren says the gaming company with 56,000 employees in Nevada will work to defeat a 2 percent margins tax that would fund education in the state. MGM CEO Jim Murren says the tax would be an “unfair burden.”

Tax to be levied on all million-dollar businesses

MGM Resorts International will oppose a 2 percent margins tax that will go on the ballot in November. But that stance doesn’t mean the company is against paying higher taxes to benefit Nevada’s educational system, CEO Jim Murren told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“It’s wrong to say we’re not supportive of higher taxes, even though we will be the largest taxpayer,” Murren said. “But it is right to say we are adamantly opposed to a 2 percent margins tax and the way it happened.”

The tax would apply to any business that makes more than $1 million in annual revenues. Murren said MGM supported a proposed 0.8 percent margins tax in 2011, but lawmakers never approved the issue.

“My beef with the margins tax is not only how it got there, but it’s the fact it so unfairly burdens MGM for ironic reasons,” Murren said. “We’ve invested billions of dollars in non-gaming attractions, such as retail, restaurants and hotel rooms. None of those taxes can be offset. Within the gaming industry, we are the most penalized by the margins tax, even though we pay the most taxes of any company.”

MGM Resorts, which has 54,000 employees in Nevada, wants a “fair and balanced approach” to raising revenues for education, he said.