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Another Bizarre Tax Hike Vote for Republicans

Well, here they go again.

Nutshell: Voters in Clark County agreed to a sales tax hike to hire more cops in 2004. But it was a two-part deal. Half the money would come immediately; the other half only if re-approved by the Legislature.

Clearly the world has changed dramatically since that initial vote way back in the boom days before the recession hit. Clearly if the voters had to vote on another sales tax hike this year they would reject it overwhelmingly – just as they did on tax hike after tax hike on the ballot last November.

And yet…

The state Assembly voted 32-9 yesterday to hike the sales tax in Clark County to 8.25 percent, the highest sales tax rate in the entire state and most of the nation.

And Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval says he’ll sign it…yet another betrayal of his promise to the people of Nevada that he wouldn’t raise their taxes.

But wait; it gets worse…

You would think the 9 votes against this tax hike would have all come from Republicans, right?

Wrong!

Only 4 of the 15 Republicans in the Assembly voted against the tax hike: Wes Duncan, Paul Anderson, John Ellison and Jim Wheeler.

Unbelievably, more Democrats voted against this tax hike than Republicans. The five D’s who just said “NO!” were Maggie Carlton, Richard Carillo, Joe Hogan, Peggy Pierce and Ellen Spiegel.

Sadly, for the second day in a row Tax Pledge signers John Hambrick and Pete Livermore broke their promise to their constituents by voting for this tax hike.

Worse, so did Assemblywoman Michele Fiore. (I say worse because of the shocking reason she gave me on the phone yesterday afternoon just before the vote…which I’ll explain in this afternoon’s Silver State Confidential.)

As for raising taxes to give more money to well-paid Metro cops, I think the following email message I received from one reader sums it up pretty nicely: “This is nuts. They make a hell of a lot more money than our troops who have a way more dangerous job and don’t get to sleep in a bed at night.”

Amen.