September 17, 2019
17 Sep 2019

Political Update – September 17, 2019

EDITORIAL: Clark County and the great temporary tax ruse

Las Vegas Review-Journal
September 9, 2019

The Clark County Commission last week unwittingly exposed one of the scams of modern liberal governance: the “temporary” tax ruse.

Last Tuesday, the board, comprised of all Democrats, voted 5-2 to raise the sales tax by one-eighth of a percentage point to 8.375 percent. Analysts project the move — enabled by timorous Democratic lawmakers in Carson City who punted on the issue — will raise $54 million a year. While the commissioners have yet to determine where they’ll direct the windfall, expect the school district to reap much of the benefit.

Overshadowed by the decision, however, was a second tax debate in front of the commission that same day.

Back in 1998, a majority of Clark County voters backed an advisory ballot question asking if they favored a higher sales tax to pay for local water and infrastructure improvements. State lawmakers used the vote to justify imposing a quarter percentage point increase in the sales tax, and the levy has so far generated $1.4 billion. The tax is set to expire after 25 years or once it has brought in $2.3 billion.

But any poor sap who thought a Nevada government body would allow such a lucrative stream of other people’s money to go “poof” needs to brush up on Silver State civics.

Sure enough, the commissioners last Tuesday voted 6-1 to put the kibosh on the sunset. The water and sewer infrastructure tax presented to voters two decades ago as “temporary” is now etched in stone.

All this is in keeping with the sorry and predictable history of “temporary” taxes in Nevada. In order to gain support for these money grabs, the sponsors cynically insert sunset provisions, chuckling with the knowledge that it will be a cold day in Hades before the spigot ever goes dry. This ploy even allows the tax-and-spend crowd to employ the disingenuous fib that they’re not really raising taxes, they’re simply leaving rates at current levels.

This is precisely the poppycock that Gov. Steve Sisolak and legislative Democrats trotted out earlier this year when they extended the modified business tax without the constitutionally required two-thirds vote. That matter is currently being litigated. Ignoring sunset provisions in various “temporary” taxes was also an integral part of former GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget.


Quote of
the week



“But any poor sap who thought a Nevada government body would allow such a lucrative stream of other people’s money to go “poof” needs to brush up on Silver State civics.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Businesses join fight against ‘unconstitutional’ Nevada taxes

Bethany Blankley
The Center Square

September 6, 2019

Four Nevada business groups have joined a lawsuit challenging the state over two tax hikes slated to go into effect on Sept. 30 and July 1, 2020, respectively.

The Retail Association of Nevada, Nevada Trucking Association, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association joined Senate Republican Caucus in its lawsuit against Gov. Steve Sisolak, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall, the Nevada Department of Taxation and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The lawsuit challenges two bills, SB 551 and SB 542, which were signed into law after being passed by a simple majority rather than the supermajority that’s usually required to impose taxes and fees.

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