According to a story in the Elko Daily Free Press, your calls and emails to Sen. Dean Rhoads have made a big difference and he’s singing a decidedly different tune on tax hikes now because of them.
In case you missed it, Sen. Rhoads told the Las Vegas Sun point-blank last week that “There will have to be…tax and fee increases” this legislative session to balance the budget. But after our phone, email and radio campaign through the weekend letting the good senator know that we elected Gov. Sandoval because of his promise not to raise taxes, Sen. Rhoads softened his position noticeably:
“I got a bunch of calls. What I said and what I meant is I support the governor’s budget, but there are things that have to change. After going through six days of budget hearings, in my mind a tax increase is something we may have to consider at the end of the 120 days. . . . We may have to look at taxes and fees. I am not saying I will support this at this time, but I am trying to look at all sides.”
Saying we “may” have to look at tax and fee hikes is a whole lot different from saying they are inevitable and it’s probably the best we can hope for from the moderate Raggio ally. But this is an example of the kind of impact we citizens can and must have if we’re to hold the line against those who wish to continue growing the government even in the middle of the worst recession in our lifetimes – especially the public employee unions.
This shows the persuasive potential of putting the public back in public policy discussions. Thank you to everyone who helped turn up the heat and show Sen. Rhoads a little bit of light. But don’t think this is the end. We’ll have many more similar battles over the next four months! Stay tuned, Batfans….