Government-luvin’ tax hikers in Nevada shouldn’t be doing the Snoopy Dance just yet. As fictional Sen. John “Bluto” Blutarski of Animal House famously put it, “Nothing’s over until we decide it is.”
Gov. Brian Sandoval never campaigned on raising taxes-and-spending by over a billion dollars – including the creation of a new gross receipts tax – and, therefore, had no mandate from we, the people to do so.
And not one Republican candidate for the Legislature campaigned on raising taxes-and-spending by over a billion dollars – including the creation of a new gross receipts tax – and, therefore, had no mandate from we, the people to do so.
To the contrary, we, the people overwhelmingly – almost 80 percent! – rejected a similar gross receipts tax proposal that was on the ballot last November.
But our elected elite decided they knew better.
And just stuck us with the largest tax increase in Nevada’s history.
To put this in perspective, Connecticut* – run 100% by Eastern liberal Democrats – “only” raised taxes this week by $1.2 billion.
They’re pikers compared to Sandoval and his RINOs in the Nevada Legislature.
Fortunately, however, Nevada’s Constitution empowers we, the people to have the last word on this if we, the people so choose.
Article 19, Section 1 of the Nevada Constitution provides for a “Referendum for approval or disapproval of statute or resolution enacted by legislature.”
Unless I’m reading it wrong, it certainly appears that our Constitution allows for “any statute or resolution or any part thereof enacted by the legislature be submitted to a vote of the people” if “a number of registered voters of this state equal to 10 percent or more of the number of voters who voted at the last preceding general election shall express their wish by filing with the secretary of state” a petition calling for its repeal.
Fortunately for taxpayers, voter turnout last November was exceptionally low – only 552,326.
That means only around 55,000 Nevada voters are needed to sign a petition to repeal the largest tax increase in Nevada’s history.
To put this in perspective, the teachers union collected over 100,000 signatures – twice the amount – to put their gross receipts tax on the ballot last November.
If a sufficient number of voters sign such a petition, the Secretary of State “shall submit the question of approval or disapproval of such statute or resolution or any part thereof to a vote of the voters at the next succeeding election at which such question may be voted upon by the registered voters of the entire State.”
That would be we, the people in 2016.
But here’s the best part…
“If a majority of the voters voting upon the proposal submitted at such election votes approval of such statute or resolution or any part thereof, such statute or resolution or any part thereof shall stand as the law of the state and shall not be amended, annulled, repealed, set aside, suspended or in any way made inoperative except by the direct vote of the people. If a majority of such voters votes disapproval of such statute or resolution or any part thereof, such statute or resolution or any part thereof shall be void and of no effect.”
That means that if the referendum makes it on the ballot and we, the people, reject the tax hikes – including the new gross receipts tax – they will be repealed.
And liberals will squeal like stuck pigs!
Indeed, we’ll hear all manner of apocalyptic predictions of Canadian-speaking children being kicked out of school and old people dying in the street of starvation.
None of it will be true, of course. But when have liberals – especially liberal Republicans – ever let the truth stand in the way of a good mass hysteria campaign?
But even if voters approve the largest tax hike in state history, the referendum means the legislature can’t come back in two years and try to increase the rates for ANY of the various tax hikes without another vote of we, the people.
That means the legislature won’t be able to raise the new gross receipts tax, raise the modified business payroll tax, raise the sales tax, raise the cigarette tax or raise your vehicle registration fees in the future without a vote of we, the people who have to pay these taxes.
So a qualified referendum on the largest tax hike in Nevada history is a no-lose scenario for Nevada’s taxpayers and businesses. You see, even if the tax hikes aren’t repealed, the legislature won’t be able to raise them on their own again in the future.
The small business community that was sold out and let down by entities such as the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce should consider investing a few hundred thousand dollars to gather the signatures to put this referendum on the ballot rather than get stuck paying millions upon millions of dollars more in higher taxes – not just now, but in the future.
If you think such a referendum is a good idea and would like to join the “We Decide Coalition,” go to www.WeDecideCoalition.com and sign up.
So let it be written; so let it be done.
* POST SCRIPT
Four years ago, Connecticut’s Democrat governor and legislature passed what was, at the time, the largest tax increase in the state’s history. And here’s what the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) said about it…
“It’s tax day, and the hard working people of Connecticut are feeling their wallets are a little lighter. Perhaps that’s because Governor Dan Malloy enacted the largest tax increase in state history. Higher taxes don’t help struggling families make ends meet, and they don’t help small businesses grow the economy. It’s no wonder that, following his historic tax increase, there are fewer people employed now than when Malloy took office.” – RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho
Interestingly, no similar statement of condemnation was issued by the RGA this week over Republican Nevada Gov. Sandoval doing the EXACT SAME THING.
Apparently when it comes to the GOP establishment, it’s only bad when Democrats raise taxes, not when Republicans do it.
Apparently higher taxes only hurt “struggling families” when Democrats do it, not Republicans.
Apparently higher taxes “don’t help small business grow the economy” when Democrats do it, not Republicans.
It’s hypocrisy thick enough to cut with the Stihl chainsaw.
If Brian Sandoval didn’t have that fake “R” after his name, Republicans would be in the streets with pitchforks and torches.
It’s not conservative Republicans who are wrong on this issue.
It’s the establishment Republicans who sold us out and are trashing the GOP brand.