With that in mind, SB44 would raise the taxes/fees on “fracking”/energy exploration in Nevada to pay for government regulation.
As such, voting for SB44 would absolutely be a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
The bill passed unanimously in Senate Majority Leader Tax Hike Mike Roberson’s state Senate.
Conservatives in the Assembly should vote “no.”
Of course, I’m hearing the same old arguments that the special interest lobbyists trot out every session to excuse similar tax/fee increases.
There’s the old, “The industry wants this.”
Really? Then make paying the additional tax/fee OPTIONAL. If everyone really wants it, everyone will pay it on their own, right?
Then there’s the old, “It’s a user fee.”
No, it’s not.
A true user fee is where you have the option of paying for a service from the government or obtaining it from the private sector.
The choice of paying for copies at a government office or making copies at Office Depot is a true user fee. Being forced to pay a fee for government regulation is a tax, not an optional user fee.
And then there’s the argument that this bill will allow fracking to be regulated by the state instead of the feds. Which is right up there with “Would you rather be executed by hanging or firing squad?”
How about NEITHER?!!
Regardless, if the preference is to be regulated by the state, then do so with existing revenue by prioritizing spending. Or is there nothing “non-essential” in the state budget that could be cut to pay for this instead?
But set aside the Tax Pledge for a minute. The question then, as articulated in the guiding principles of the conservative Assembly Policy Commmitee, is simple…
“Does the bill reduce government regulations, reduce the size of government, eliminate entitlements, or eliminate unnecessary programs?”
SB44 does NOT.
As such, any good conservative should vote “no,” regardless of how strongly highly-compensated professional lobbyists try to rationalize it as a “good” bill.
The fact is, the Legislature could make it easier for energy exploration operations with a bill that does not include a tax/fee hike.
And with complete GOP control of the government, there’s no excuse not to do so.
Conservatives in the State Assembly should just say “no” on SB44.