Kirner went on to complain about an email blast to conservative activists sent out last week by Americans for Prosperity calling attention to this tax hike bill.
“The Legislature is debating a bill that skirts the Nevada Constitution’s 2/3rds tax requirement – a requirement designed to PROTECT Nevada taxpayers against the overreaches of power-hungry legislators’ intent on funneling taxpayer dollars into wasteful public spending,” AFP warned. “In Nevada, tax increases require a 2/3 majority vote in the Nevada Legislature to pass – a rule that safeguards taxpayer dollars.”
Not a 2/3 vote of the county commission, mind you. Of the Legislature.
You see, Nevada operates under what is called the “Dillon Rule,” which means legislators make tax hiking decisions for the local governments. It’s a bad form of government – government is best closest to the people – but it is what it is. So AB46 not only was an end-run around the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative, but an end-run around the Dillon Rule.
If you want to get rid of the Dillon Rule – and we should – and give local municipalities “home rule,” then do it. Don’t try to get cute and circumvent the existing rules.
But back to Kirner’s email…
“The Americans for Prosperity email was simply false and distorted the facts,” Kirner complained. “I don’t believe we have acted to pervert the 2/3rds vote on new taxes as required by law.”
But of course, the AFP email was accurate and yes, Kirner and associates were trying to pervert the clear meaning and understanding of current laws at it relates to both tax hikes and the Dillon Rule.
“The bill was a very complex bill and the process here is knotty as well,” Kirner continued to kvetch.
And thank goodness we have someone so much smarter than we, the little people, watching our backs, and explaining this “very complex bill,” right?
“I did not vote to raise taxes,” Kirner dissembled. “I have not ignored the 2012 Nevada Republican Platform. I am not encouraging an ‘end-run.’ Our party is about many things and has many constituencies. My duty is to represent the people of my district, all of them.”
Look, despite Kirner’s claims to the contrary, this bill wasn’t complex. Not by a long shot. It was an effort to raise taxes to dump more money into school construction projects – using over-priced union labor – that had already been rejected by the people.
No, he didn’t vote to raise taxes. He voted to let others do his dirty work for him since he knew that (a) the people didn’t want this tax hike, and (b) he couldn’t get it passed in the Legislature because of the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative.
No, he didn’t ignore the 2012 Nevada Republican Platform. He BROKE it.
And yes, it absolutely was an “end run” around the people, the Gibbons Tax Restraint Law and the Dillon Rule.
And yes, the GOP may be about many things, but tax hikes aren’t one of them. You could look it up. In the party platform. It’s right there in black and white.
And finally, there are indeed many constituencies in the Republican Party, but Kirner did not run on a platform of “Elect me and I’ll vote to raise your taxes.” As such, he has absolutely no mandate to do so and his support for AB46 is actually a complete misrepresentation of the very people who sent him to Carson City.
The majority of Kirner’s constituents are Republican voters who sure as hell didn’t vote for him on the promise that he’d raise their taxes. If he wants to represent the minority of constituents who want their taxes raised then he should do one of two things…
1.) Run on a campaign promise to raise taxes and see how that works out for him, or…
2.) Change parties and run as a tax-hiking Democrat and see how that works out for him.
Otherwise, don’t barf up this political pabulum that you’re not doing what we can all plainly see that you’re doing.
As the old saying goes, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”
Randy Kirner is a nice man. But he’s a bad Republican and an even worse conservative. In a Republican-majority district. Something tells me he’s going to make my end-of-session “Primary My Legislator” list.