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Lawsuit filed to protect Tax Repeal Referendum

They say a good offense is the best defense.

As such and on behalf of the We Decide Coalition – plus three conservative members of the State Assembly who voted AGAINST the largest tax hike in Nevada history (SB 483) in the recently-concluded 2015 legislative session – our attorney filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court on Thursday seeking “Declaratory and Injunctive Relief” related to our tax repeal referendum.

The three members of the Legislature who have joined us in the lawsuit are Assemblywoman Shelly Shelton, Assemblyman John Moore and Assemblywoman Michele Fiore.  The trio had a 100% voting record against any and all efforts to increase taxes during the 2015 session.

The lawsuit is intended to pre-empt the coming lawsuit to block our referendum by the new Coalition for Nevada’s Future PAC that was formed this week for the expressed purpose of opposing “petitions which would repeal state law.”  As such, the Coalition for Nevada’s Future PAC was also named in our lawsuit filed by our attorney, Kermitt Waters.

Noting that ballot initiatives have been delayed and thwarted in the past using the “single subject” law passed by the Nevada Legislature in 2005, we’re seeking a declaration from the court that our referendum “is not a violation of the single-subject restriction of NRS 295.06 or any other section of Nevada law.”

Such a ruling would allow us to immediately proceed with the referendum “without fear of obstruction, delay and/or interference by the political power brokers and opponents and their allies.”

That would include, of course, Gov. Brian Sandoval (R&R Advertising), U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, junior-league liberal blogger “Sputtering Jon” Ralston, and the state’s powerful gaming industry – which has been salivating over the prospect of socking that new gross receipts tax on other Nevada businesses.

In addition, we have alternatively asked the court to rule that if our referendum – which is “a verbatim copy of SB 483” that “amends 41 chapters and hundreds of sections, and amends, adds or deletes more than 87 separate freestanding sections of NRS statutes” – violates the single subject prohibition found in NRS, that SB 483 violates that same sort of prohibition on legislation found in the Nevada Constitution.

In that case, we ask the court “to strike SB 483 of the 2015 Legislative Act as in violation of Article 4, Section 17 of the Nevada Constitution, and for violation of Article 4, Section 1.”

In short, the rules that apply to the ruled should be the same rules that apply to the rulers.

Striking down SB 483 as unconstitutional would make the entire referendum process unnecessary.

Lastly, we note that SB 483 is “convoluted, complex, unequal and confusing” and “is an attempt to tax individual income” in violation of Article 10, Section 1, Sub-section 9 of the Nevada Constitution and ask that it be struck down on those grounds.  This is specifically aimed at the new “Commerce Tax” – a gross receipts tax that taxes both corporations and individuals.

I’m advised that our case has been assigned to District Court Judge Jerry A. Weise II.

Judge Weise was the presiding District Court judge who ruled against Citizen Outreach in an earlier “single subject” case from 2012 (which is still awaiting an appeal decision by the Nevada Supreme Court), so he is very familiar with this issue.

Although Judge Weise ultimately ruled against us in that first case, he gave our arguments a fair and impartial hearing – and you can’t ask for much more than that.

That said, this particular case is very different from the earlier case since the wording on the referendum is EXACTLY the same as the wording of the bill passed by the Legislature.  So this is truly an apples-to-apples comparison this time around.

Still, we’re going up against the most powerful elected state official in all of Nevada – whose pretty hair, beautiful smile and crisp empty suits have made him very popular with RINOs, tax-and-spend liberals and low-information voters.

As well as the state’s all-powerful, deep-pocketed gaming industry – which is expected to spend millions of dollars to hire the best lawyers money can buy and fund an R&R Advertising-like media propaganda campaign to convince Nevadans that repeal of the tax hike will be the end of the world as we know it.

All WE have are each other and righteousness on our side.

I like our chances.


“Sen. Harry Reid said he’s willing to do everything he can to help Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.1 billion tax package survive a potential challenge at the ballot…  ‘I think it would be a real disservice to our state if the crazies were able to prevail.’” – Associated Press