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Roberson’s Flip-Flop with a Two-and-Half Twist

It was bad enough that Gov. Sandoval abandoned his promise not to raise taxes or extend the “sunsets” (for the second time!), but perhaps even worse was Senate Minority Leader-in-Waiting Michael Roberson seconding the emotion.

“I support Gov. Sandoval and his budget instructions that will not impose new taxes on the people of Nevada,” Roberson said. “I will continue to lead the fight against new tax increases…”

This is nothing short of intellectual dishonesty.

These ARE new taxes. Just because they were passed in 2009 doesn’t make them “old” taxes. They were passed with a clear expiration date. It’s like a gallon of milk in the grocery store. If the expiration date for the milk is June 30 and it’s taken off the shelf on that date, when you replace it with another gallon of milk…it’s new milk.

Extending the sunsets IS a new tax on the people of Nevada. And no matter how many times Gov. Sandoval or de facto Senate Minority Leader Roberson try to tell us otherwise, it won’t change that fact.

But what makes this worse in Roberson’s case is that he voted AGAINST raising these taxes last year, maintaining at the time, rightfully so, that there were other options.

So the question is, if there were other options to raising those $620 million worth of taxes in 2009, why suddenly declare those options are no longer on the table, especially since Nevada’s revenue projections have continually IMPROVED since the time Sen. Roberson voted not to raise those taxes?

And finally, unlike Gov. Sandoval, Sen. Roberson did sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising his constituents and the citizens of Nevada that he would oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes. The governor’s plan is, in fact, an effort to increase taxes. And voicing support for that plan is not “opposing” that plan.

Sadly, Sen. Roberson – who so many of us thought was going to be the principled GOP leader who would take Nevada Republicans in a new and different direction – has apparently swallowed the Kool-Aid.  Ah, what might have been.

By the way, are there any Republican Party leaders (hello, new Clark County GOP executive board members!) willing to stand up and publicly oppose this effort to raise taxes by Gov. Sandoval and Sen. Roberson? Or will everybody just get in line and refuse to criticize their elected officials no matter what they do? And does this mean opposition to raising taxes has to be taken out of the official Republican Party platform this year?

Inquiring minds wanna know.