Teachers union membership primed for margin tax campaign

An overwhelming number of teachers union members support the margin tax, although the membership is only marginally aware of it, a new survey of members shows.

The survey, conducted by the union last week of 424 members and posted here, showed large numbers had not heard anything about the tax, whether it was called The Education Initiative (34 percent) or the margin tax (53 percent). Junkies sometimes forget it's not yet April, so maybe that's not too surprising.

But more than 80 percent of members support the tax and huge numbers want a business tax to put more money into education and perceive the state as having decreased funding for public education (how did that happen?).

The poll also tested themes that the union's strategists clearly hope to use in the campaign, gauging their popularity with members. Here are the percentages for each answering 8-10 on a 10-point scale of how convincing they are:

►79 percent: OUT-OF-STATE & FOREIGN COMPANIES Out-of-state companies like Exxon & Walmart and foreign mining companies earn huge profits in Nevada but don't pay a dime in Nevada corporate income taxes. It's time they step up to their responsibility to pay at least a tiny 2% share back to our state.

►78 percent: GOOD EDUCATION / OPPORTUNITY / SUCCESS A good education spells success for people, our communities and Nevada's economy. We must do more to provide our children with the opportunity for smaller class sizes and a high quality education to help them achieve their potential and improve the future for all of us.

►64 percent: BETTER SCHOOLS / ECONOMY Better schools means better workers and attracting high-wage industries and jobs to Nevada.There is no better way to improve Nevada’s economy, help small business, and create more opportunity for our families. Business can help itself by investing just 2% in quality schools.

One more thing: Shockingly, members are almost twice as likely to vote for a Democratic lawmaker.