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Better Late than Never (I Guess)

In response to the Democrats’ $1.5 billion “Mother of All Mother of All Tax Hikes” proposal today, Assembly Republicans immediately issued a rare press release.

“Raising taxes is a decision that ignores the economic reality that Nevada faces,” said Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka. “Raising taxes is not the answer. Doing so jeopardizes the stability of our economy.”

Well, duh. You only now figured that out, Pete? Good grief.

The release concludes with: “The Republican Assembly Caucus is against any tax increase…”

Sounds good, right? Well, maybe.

Problem is, some Republicans in the caucus have said privately that they agree with Democrats; that an extension of the sunsetted ‘09 tax hikes, which are scheduled to expire at the end of June, would NOT be a tax hike.

They are, of course, dead wrong. Those taxes will go down on June 30. If extended, they’ll go up on July 1. That’s a tax hike, plain and simple.

Republicans in the Assembly – other than Tax Pledge signers Hambrick, McArthur, Goedhart and Livermore – have been trying to duck making a firm, definitive, public statement that they back Gov. Sandoval’s no-new-taxes budget 100%…including NO EXTENSION of the sunsetted tax hikes. Because they’ve been so fork-tongued on this issue, today’s statement tells us nothing.

I want to see a written statement, SIGNED by ALL 16 members of the Assembly GOP caucus that they oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes or fees, including any extension of the sunsets, before I’ll believe these people are serious and finally on the reservation.

Or the others could just join McArthur, Goedhart, Livermore and Hambrick in signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

I won’t be holding my breath waiting.