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Dems Return to Trough at Midnight Hour

One of my biggest complaints of the budget deal struck this session to raise taxes $600 million by extending the “temporary” tax hikes approved in 2009 which were supposed to “sunset” at the end of this month is that it wouldn’t be enough; that the Democrats would take that $600 million and immediately come back at us for more.

That’s what they do. It’s never enough. More, more, more. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

And sure enough, despite striking a deal to extend the sunsets, Assembly Speaker John Oceguera snuck in a last-minute bill late Monday night to impose a “margins tax” (Gross Reciepts 2.0) on Nevada businesses and a new tax on haircuts and other services.

The last-minute tactic had Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, leader of the “Surrender Monkey Caucus” hopping mad. He issued the following statement around 11 pm Monday night…

“During the remaining hours of the 76th Legislative Session, Democrat lawmakers attempted to push through a margins and service tax on all Nevadans. It is deeply concerning that Assembly Democrats decided to introduce the largest tax increase in Nevada’s history during the final hours of this session. The Republican Caucus has and will remain committed to an open and democratic process and does not support new taxes. You don’t introduce the biggest tax increase in Nevada history in the shadows of the 11th hour. This is unacceptable and will not be supported by our caucus.”

“Deeply concerning?” How about “outrageous”?

Assembly Republicans don’t support “new” taxes…but jacking up existing taxes $600 million was OK? Pathetic. I guess we should at least be grateful that they finally found some semblance of backbone on a tax issue, even if it was at Hour 22 of Day 120.

Why did Democrats introduce this tax hike at the last minute even though they knew it would fail? Because Democrats take care of their base. They go down fighting to the end. Why did Republicans agree to extend the sunsets? Because they sell out their base. They go out with a whimper, not a bang. Thus ends today’s Politics 101 lesson.