Everything is texting and punching here and there; we are almost getting to be like Mike Tyson: punching, punching, punching someone that we don’t even know and that is several hundreds of miles away is telling us to punch 1, then punch 3.
I told the Filipino man that answered the phone for T-Mobile after six in the evening that I don’t talk with my fingers, I talk with my mouth: “Hi, how are you today? Punch 1 for good, punch 2 if great, punch 3 for terrible.”
The problem is that when I talk with my fingers, the system never responds the same way, and when I punch 3 for terrible the system responds “I am glad you feel great, how can I help you tonight.”
Tonight? I just got up and am having my coffee at 5:00 a.m. How can it be night? Because it is 8:00 p.m. in the Philippines.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a friend who was missing her daily newspaper and when I made the call for her I learned that the local number we call asking for the missing newspaper was in Phoenix, Arizona, almost three hundred miles away from Las Vegas.
I know that some of you remember we wrote about the people who get a parking ticket and have to send the money to Phoenix because in Las Vegas there is no one intelligent enough, honest enough and hard-working enough to handle a collection business like that on their own.
But what can we expect from our city officials who may very well not be aware of what is going on within their own offices because they are too busy socializing with future campaign donors and playing golf with the ones they are already “chummy” with; are these elected officials aware that the local businesses have to send their license fees to Los Angeles, California? We in Las Vegas are so rich that we don’t need to open any more businesses unless they are multi-million dollar enterprises or billion dollar casinos.
I am willing to bet that if I kick the pavement on any local street I will find several people willing to become a collector for the city or the county for a small fee or a percentage.
I have no idea what percentage these companies in Arizona or California are charging our city for collecting city license fees or parking ticket fees but I am willing to give it a try if they give me the opportunity and I can hire locals to work under me and diminish the unemployment lines.
But at least the county and the city are hiring Americans in American cities and within the United States (we hope), while Google, Godaddy, T-Mobile, Century Link, Cox, and others are conducting business in our state, collecting tons of money with their operations being conducted in the Philippines.
We need a governor, a legislature, a county commission chair and a mayor with the pants or the skirts secure enough to tell these companies that if they want money from our citizens they have to bring these boiler rooms, collection agencies, and call centers back to Nevada.
Maybe they need to stop being such ridiculous cowards and start serving the community the best way possible without being afraid to “upset” anyone because, regardless of how tough they may get, these businesses are going to be doing way better here than anywhere else.
Take for example the gaming business; the casino operators were greedy enough to branch out to other states and now there are casinos everywhere and in everyone’s kitchen when they could have had the monopoly exclusively here in the Silver State earning way more money.
By having the monopoly, they could have had enough money to fight any other state that wanted to legally open gaming in their backyard, something like NV Energy is doing now; fighting its monopoly with Question 3.
By branching out, the gaming industry not only has to split their profit with other states but also has to pay taxes at the same rate as anyone else.
In January of last year, the Baltimore Sun newspaper reported that “In December 2016, thanks to the opening of the MGM at National Harbor, Maryland smashed its previous record for casino revenue, bringing in a total of $135 million for the month. The casinos got 58 percent of that; the Education Trust Fund got 31 percent. And the tables are set to tilt even further.” In Nevada, I have been told, the casinos only pay 6 percent tax because Nevada has always been underestimated by everyone and politicians and elected officials are not good negotiators.
If I were the Nevada Governor when these casinos were popping up everywhere, I would have made those holding Nevada gaming licenses opening casinos elsewhere pay the same tax rate as in the state they were opening, or they would have choose what state to stay with.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.