May 12, 2016

Yesterday May 11, 2016, the Nevada State Supreme Court killed the RIP Commerce Tax repeal ballot initiative. State Controller and petition author Ron Knecht recently said they were on track to get the necessary signatures to put the Commerce Tax repeal petition on the ballot this November. Last year 80% of Nevada voters statewide rejected a similar tax.  Justice Nancy Saitta, in her statement, said petition signers “have been both deceived and misled.” Misled because the initiative authors failed to use language describing the costs to the state. But the costs are for moneys not spend yet. The Nevada State legislature passed the spending bills last session before they passed the tax bills to pay for them. The Nevada Supreme Court adopted the most extreme position possible in coming to their conclusion. 

The court had no problem with the Governor and half the Republican Assemblymen and Senators deceiving and misleading the voters in order to pass the tax hike. The court had no problem wasting seven months before making their decision. The court had not problem with the misleading name “The Commerce Tax” when it’s really an “Income tax”. The tax supporters knew after poll testing that calling it the “Commerce Tax” would mislead and confuse voters. The tax supporters knew if they called it what it is, “the Nevada State Income Tax” voters were sure to reject it. 

corrupt liarSo if you want to stop the “Nevada Income Tax” or so called Commerce Tax, it’s time to get serious, get out and support Republicans who signed the pledge to repeal the tax. It’s time to walk, knock on doors, donate money and make calls. It’s time to take action and defeat the Establishment Republicans on June 14, 2016 and send them the message that you reject the “Nevada State Income Tax”. 


Previous story  from May 3, 2016

The Nevada State Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday after months of legal wrangling between Ron Knecht, the state Controller and his group RIP, the sponsor of a petition to repeal Governor Sandoval’s $1.5 Billion dollar tax increase. The Governor pushed through SB 483 in 2015, after campaigning against any new business taxes in 2014, sparking a Civil War within the Nevada GOP. The GOP Assemblymen who voted for the tax increase are facing a determined, well organized group of insurgents running in primaries all up and down the state. The petition is one battle in that civil war raging since the passage of the commerce tax last May. The Governor’s allies filed a lawsuit challenging the petition back in November of last year to block it.

Carson City District Judge James Wilson rejected the challenge against the petition on December 2, 2015. Judge Wilson, in his decision, said that the objections to the petition were; “hyper-technical” and that “hyper-technical interpretation[s] of [petition] requirements … may impede the people from exercising their constitutional right to propose laws. “

But Sandoval’s group appealed the lower court’s decision to the Nevada State Supreme Court. The RIP group asked the court to extend the deadline for collecting 55,000 signatures due June 12, 2016 to qualify while the court considers the matter, but the State Supreme court rejected the motion. The court instead dragged its heels until today. To date, the high court still hasn’t decided the case and continues to delay their decision. It’s important to mention that several of the Justices on the State Supreme Court are up for re-election this fall and are out raising money, as all politician must do. Nevada politics are similar to that of a small town, where everyone knows each other.  There are only a small number of real donors here in the State and the Judges are hedging their bets. By dragging out the process the petition will die on its own.  Knecht hit a wall in fundraising when the case became bogged down in the Nevada Supreme Court’s docket for the past 7 months.

In the end, Sandoval may lose the court case but run out the clock for Knecht’s group to gather the necessary signatures to get the petition on this fall’s ballot. The Judges get to collect donations from Sandoval’s supporters and anti-tax people, having played both sides against the middle. There’s an old saying; a judge is nothing more than a lawyer with a politician for a friend.

Rob Lauer


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