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The Dirty Dozen and Sellout Seven

Republicans this legislative session had 100 percent control of Nevada’s government for the first time since 1929.

They used it in the Assembly on Sunday to shove, by a vote of 30-10, the largest tax increase in Nevada’s history down our collective throats and up our collective wazoos.

A $1.5 billion giga-monstrosity that includes a brand-spanking new job-killing, anti-business gross receipts tax that will lead to a brand-spanking new, job-killing, anti-business Nevada IRS.

A tax overwhelmingly rejected by 80 percent of Nevada voters just last November.

A tax hike that “Republican” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval hid from voters until after the election was over.

A tax hike that not a single Republican candidate ran on last year.

In response, one businesswoman I know wrote the following to me in an email this morning…

“A gross receipts tax?  Of all things?  An income tax I can deal with by not showing a profit, but a gross receipts tax?  Forget it.  We still have one corporation in Nevada and now I need to see if I need to dissolve it too. Just thinking about it makes me tear up.  I hate these people.”

This from a good, rock-solid Christian woman.  And she’s not alone.

Democrats, in their wildest drug-induced hallucination, couldn’t possibly have dreamed that they could screw Nevada’s citizens and businesses this badly, deeply and widely.

Naturally, every one of them voted for the Sandoval Screw Job.  After all, it’s what they do.

To their credit, with the exception of turncoat Speaker-of-the-Weak John Hambrick, every one of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers voted against the largest tax hike Nevada’s history.  They gave their word and they kept it – again, except for Hambrick, whose word isn’t worth a desert rock.

The Pledge signers who fought for Nevada’s citizens, tourists and taxpayers to the bitter end were Assemblypersons Michele Fiore, Jim Wheeler, Shelly Shelton, Brent Jones, Dr. Robin Titus, Jill Dickman and Victoria Seaman.

Two Pledge signers were not in the Assembly chamber yesterday but absolutely would have kept their word: Assemblywoman Vicki Dooling, whose husband passed away suddenly and unexpectedly earlier in the day, and Assemblyman John Moore, who was rushed to the hospital the day before.

They were joined by Assemblymen Ira Hansen and John Ellison.

The 10th “no” vote was cynically and bizarrely cast by Assembly-weasel Chris Edwards, who actually found a way to vote for the $1.5 billion tax hike before voting against it.

Indeed, he voted in favor of an amendment combining all the various tax bills into one bill, over conservative objections, before voting against the Mother of All Tax Hikes.

If Edwards thinks “his people” are stupid enough to fall for this and re-elect him, he’s delusional.

Which brings us to the Dirty Dozen…

Going into this session we all knew the five tax-hiking veteran RINOs were locks to jump off the fiscal cliff with SandRINOval.  And they did: Assemblymen Paul Anderson, Pat “RINO” Hickey, Randy “Kirner Tax” Kirner, Melissa Woodbury and Lynn Stewart.

And then there’s the Sellout Seven.

Including Hambrick – who infamously sold out the conservative members of his caucus and violated his Tax Pledge weeks before the opening gavel even came down – seven members of the Assembly all ran on a fiscal conservative platform of opposing tax hikes and then broke their word.

For example…

Assemblyman Erv Nelson told voters: “I am against raising property taxes or renewing taxes which have sunsetted.  Government should operate within its proper, limited scope and live within its current budgetary and tax scheme.”

Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill told voters:  “I believe that we need to remove ourselves from these ‘Sunset’ taxes, as originally intended, particularly as the economy continues to recover.”

Assemblyman Derek Armstrong told voters: “I oppose all three of these tax increases because each will have a negative impact on jobs and the state’s economy. The way to increase revenues is by increasing economic growth and making all of our citizens wealthier, not by raising taxes.”

Assemblyman Stephen Silberkraus told voters: “Instead of always looking to raise taxes we must work on growing our economy…”

Here’s the list of the Sellout Seven who voted yesterday for the largest tax hike in Nevada history, including the new gross receipts tax…

John Hambrick

James Oscarson

David Gardner

Erv Nelson

P.K  O’Neill

Steven Silberkraus

Derek Armstrong

All of these guys were elected under false pretenses.

Pure political bait-and-switch.

If they were in business they’d be prosecuted for false labeling.

The 13th tax-hiking Republican was Assemblyman Glenn Trowbridge, but we can’t call him a sellout because he wasn’t elected.  He was appointed by the 7 Democrats on the Clark County Commission to replace former Assemblyman Wes Duncan, so he didn’t make any campaign promises to voters.

Nevertheless, he still voted for the largest tax hike in Nevada history, including the new gross receipts tax.

In addition to the new gross receipts tax, these “Republicans” created or raised a host of other taxes on Nevadans this session, including…

  • Raising the state business license fee
  • Jacking up the payroll/modified business tax
  • Jacking up the payroll/modified business tax even higher on mining
  • Imposing a new “Uber” tax on ride-sharing customers
  • Imposing a new tax on taxis and limousines
  • Raising the Live Entertainment Tax on auto racing and concerts
  • A 125% increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes
  • A tax hike on elk hunters
  • A hike in automobile registration fees
  • A sales tax hike
  • A hike in sales taxes for online purchases

So what have we learned, class?

That any candidate who refuses to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge cannot be trusted.

That it’s not enough to just elect more Republicans; you need to elect better ones, as well.

That Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

And that these Nevada Republicans just blew the Mother of All Opportunities.

Let the primaries begin!


“You can’t tax business.  Business doesn’t pay taxes.  It collects them.” – Ronald Reagan