(Michael Chamberlain) – Talk about a deceiving headline. An article in the Elko Daily Free Press entitled “GOP stands firm on no new taxes” reveals Republican lawmakers to be anything but firm.
The three rural GOP legislators interviewed for the piece give a whole new meaning to the word “firm,” equivocating and hedging their way through the discussion of tax increases.
Republicans are holding steady against any new taxes, according to state Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, and Assemblymen John Ellison, R-Elko, and Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka.
“Republicans are firm on no new taxes,” Rhoads said. “They aren’t blinking at this stage of the game.”
“[a]t this stage of the game.” Doesn’t sound too “firm” to us.
Goicoechea said Republicans may be willing to talk about renewing sunset bills.
One bill set to sunset is the modified business tax, and he said if that bill sunsets, small businesses will be paying higher taxes.
Standing firmly against tax increases by talking about increasing taxes. About as firm as jello.
Goicoechea is even mistaken on the facts.
If the governor’s budget passes, small businesses will not be paying a higher modified business tax. His proposal explicitly preserves the lower rate for them while restoring rates for other businesses that existed before the MBT increase of 2009. All Goicoechea and his colleagues would have to do to prevent small businesses (and all other taxpayers in the state) from paying higher taxes is support the governor’s budget – explicitly, unequivocally, and, dare we say, firmly.
Instead, we get declarations with expiration dates and offers to negotiate away “firm” positions.
Nevada’s taxpayers need to know they’ve elected people who will be firmly in their corner. Right now, they can’t be so sure.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)