I’ve taken some heat from a few of the remaining supporters of Gov. Jim Gibbons for calling on him to resign a couple weeks ago. But yesterday we were treated with yet another example of how clueless and/or intellectually dishonest the man is, especially on this tax hike business.
Here are two inarguable facts. One: The governor was required to present a balanced budget to the Legislature in January. Two: When the governor submitted his proposed budget in January it included a $290 million room tax hike in order to balance it.
And yet in responding to a question about the $290 million tax hike the governor proposed in his budget in January, here’s what Gibbons said to Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Molly Ball yesterday afternoon:
“I didn’t raise it, the people of Nevada raised it. I did not propose it. I used it after the people had voted it in. Do not say I proposed it — I opposed it.”
I’m really trying not to call the governor a liar because it’s quite possible he’s just a political cipher. But facts are facts. And the facts in this case are (1) the governor DID propose the tax hike in his budget, (2) the people of Nevada did NOT vote for it, as it was only an advisory question which only three of Nevada’s seventeen counties got to vote on, and (3) the governor did NOT oppose the tax hike because he (a) proposed it in his budget and (b) didn’t veto it once it was passed by the Legislature.
Asked by Ball if he took responsibility for what he proposed in his own budget, including the tax hike, Gibbons responded:
“I put the money in the budget, but I did not propose it. . . . I used those revenues to my benefit, but I did not propose any tax increase. Get that right in your news article.”
How in the world can you admit that you put the proposed tax hike in your budget in order to balance it but still claim that you did not propose it?
Maybe the guy’s suffering from split personality disorder. It was the “bad” Jim Gibbons who proposed that tax hike. In which case I think both of them should resign.