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Petition seeking vote on increases withdrawn, for now

CARSON CITY — Conservative activist Chuck Muth on Monday withdrew his second proposed petition seeking a public vote on the $1.4 billion tax package approved by the 2015 Legislature to help fund Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget.

Muth said backers would reconsider refiling “Referendum on SB483” once the federal court rules weighs in on constitutional issues.

“The problem is clock management. We are waiting for a federal court decision on the original referendum that we filed,” Muth said.

The withdrawal comes two days before state District Court Judge James Wilson was to decide if the referendum meets legal muster. Last month, state District Judge James Russell rejected Muth’s first petition, finding that it violated a law requiring petitions to address a single subject and the explanation of its impact was inadequate.

Matt Griffin, a lawyer for the Coalition for Nevada’s Future, which challenged the referendum, called Muth’s move an “abuse of the petition process” and “a waste of taxpayer resources.” .

“It’s become apparent that the proponents have no interest in circulating these petitions,” Griffin said. “Whether their goal is to raise money to use for other purposes, or whether they intend to use the petition process to attack candidates and incumbents, the judiciary is the improper forum for political grandstanding.”

Muth’s weekly column, “Muth’s Truths,” runs on Wednesdays in the Pahrump Valley Times.

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