Friday, April 18, 2003

Ashes to ashes ...

Nevada's pro-tax caucus had its head handed to it on Thursday, when the Senate Taxation Committee rejected Kenny Guinn's gross receipts tax by a stunning 6-1 vote. A Guinn flack called the humilation a mere flesh wound, and Assembly Democrats vow to fight to the death for the tax's eventual passage, but that's what they have to say, I suppose. Since any tax increase requires a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses, allowing eight senators to kill higher taxes, the pro-theft people have a tough row to hoe. (Two GRT opponents, Sens. Barbara Cegavske and Warren Hardy, aren't on the committee, so unless one of Thursday's voters flips, you can bring out the stake, the garlic and the wolf's bane. It's dead and not expected to get better.) BTW, the committee did authorize a doubling of cigarette and alcohol taxes.

One other favorable sign: Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins and Majority Leader Barbara Buckley pledged that any tax increase this session would have to include a new levy on "big business," meaning the GRT. This is a negotiating ploy, of course, but I'd gladly hold them to that promise: If they stay true to that vow, there will be no tax increase this session, which sounds like beautiful music to me.

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