weather icon Clear

Tax hike fight not over until ‘we decide’ it is over

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.”

We. Decide.

FACT: Gov. Brian Sandoval didn’t campaign last year 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.

FACT: 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 rejected a similar gross receipts tax proposal that was on the ballot last November.

But our elected elite thought they knew better. So they just stuck us with the largest tax increase in Nevada’s history! $1.5 BILLION.

Fortunately, Nevada’s Constitution empowers we, the people to have the last word on this.

Article 19, Section 1 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 we, the people to gather enough signatures to put Gov. Sandoval’s tax hike – including the creation of the new gross receipts tax – on the ballot in 2016 for an up-or-down vote.

The number of signatures required to qualify such a referendum is “10 percent or more of the number of voters who voted at the last preceding general election.”

Fortunately for taxpayers, voter turnout last November was exceptionally low – only 552,326. That means only around 55,000 signatures are needed to put this tax hike on the ballot. But here’s an even better part…

If the referendum makes it onto the ballot, the various tax hikes which were included in the bill “shall not be amended, annulled, repealed, set aside, suspended or in any way made inoperative except by the direct vote of the people” even if they are ultimately approved by we, the people.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.

And unless Nevada’s business community wants to pay the millions of dollars this new gross receipts tax is going to steal from their bottom lines, they should not only join the WeDecideCoalition.com, but pony up the couple hundred thousand dollars needed to obtain the number of signatures required to put this referendum on the 2016 ballot.

So let it be written; so let it be done.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and the publisher of www.NevadaNewsandViews.com. He personally blogs at www.MuthsTruths.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Will America be the next great civilization to fall?

As I watch and read the news reports of the shooting of the police officers in Compton, California, my faith in humankind’s future has doubts creeping around the edges of my thoughts.

DEBRA SAUNDERS: In exclusive interview, Trump slams Sisolak, defends indoor rally

President Donald Trump told the Review-Journal on Sunday that he did not believe he was subject to an order limiting gatherings to 50 people when he addressed a crowd of thousands at an indoor rally in Henderson.

Are we sure we are really ‘following the science’?

Now I don’t think that phrase, “follow the science” means what we think it means. I know we hear it a lot, but I’d like to show three instances when it just doesn’t really mean what we think it means.

I-15 traffic is proof that Nevada tourism is recovering

The amount of traffic from Southern California on I-15 into and out of Las Vegas for the Labor Day holiday is yet another strong indicator that people are suffering from COVID-19 pandemic fatigue and ready to get on with their lives.

Sisolak, Trump at odds from the very beginning

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and President Donald Trump haven’t enjoyed the best relationship since Sisolak was elected in 2018.

THOMAS KNAPP: America Doesn’t Have Presidential Debates, But It Should

On Aug. 6, the Commission on Presidential Debates denied President Donald Trump’s request to increase the number of debates between himself and Democratic nominee Joe Biden from three to four.

TIM BURKE: Have we forgotten how to unite for common enemy

I can vividly recall the details of where I was at and what I was doing when I heard the news of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.