In light of my column earlier this morning on The Great Sandoval-Roberson Tax Hike of 2013, it just came to my attention that I stand corrected on one point; that there actually ARE some Republicans in Nevada who are not “falling in line” behind the governor and minority leader-in-waiting and drinking the Kool-Aid on this “sunset” extension/tax hike business.
Two weeks ago the Ron Paul folks successfully elected a 2/3 majority to the Executive Board of the Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) at their convention in Las Vegas. This means principled, limited-government, lower taxes, reduced spending, free-market conservative/libertarians are now effectively running the GOP here.
And BOY, what a difference already!
Get a load of this resolution the CCRP reportedly passed – “overwhelmingly,” I’m informed – at its regular monthly meeting earlier this week (though it’s unclear why the instructions in the final paragraph apparently haven’t been followed):
On this 20th day of March 2012, the Clark County Republican Central Committee hereby finds the following:
On March 13, 2012, Governor Brian Sandoval issued a statement that he will be extending the so-called “sunset” taxes past their scheduled expiration. The “sunset” taxes were passed in the 2009 legislature as temporary taxes with a built-in expiration date of June, 2011, which was then extended to June 2013. In Governor Sandoval’s proposed budget, this expiration date will be extended back to June 2015. This action directly contradicts his 2010 campaign statement that, “raising taxes is the worst possible thing you can do” after a recession.
In his recent statement, the Governor is trying to posture himself as being against tax increases, asking taxpayers to not consider the re-extension of a tax that was scheduled to expire as a tax increase. The Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) considers the prevention of the scheduled expiration of a tax as being analogous to directly raising taxes. It is deeply disappointing to see Governor Sandoval once again renege on his “no-new tax” promise by preventing the “sunset” taxes from expiring as scheduled. Raising taxes on Nevadans in the midst of this terrible recession is not an appropriate solution to the state’s budgetary woes.
Moreover, the “sunset” taxes specifically reduce the prospects of an economic recovery by making Nevada less attractive to new businesses. The original temporary taxes included, amongst other things, a doubling of both the private-sector payroll tax as well as the cost of business licensing. To prevent their scheduled expiration will only further discourage new businesses (and the jobs that they create) from coming to Nevada.
The Republican Party must stand with the people and offer an alternative to big government ideology. In addition to offering resistance to the call for ever higher rates of government spending and taxation, it is imperative that Republican leaders honor their promises made to their constituents. This breach of trust by Governor Sandoval must not be replicated by fellow Nevada Republican policymakers.
The CCRP has also observed that Republican Senators Michael Roberson, Greg Brower, and Ben Kieckhefer expressed their support for this tax increase. Considering Senator Roberson campaigned on the promise of repealing these specific taxes, supporting their extension now is particularly disconcerting. The trust between citizens and elected officials is of paramount importance to the CCRP. Any actions that compromise that trust are detrimental to the integrity of the Republican Party as a whole, and must be avoided whenever possible.
The increased budgetary burden imposed by the President’s Health and Affordability Act is substantial and must be addressed by Nevada policymakers. The solution, however, is not to raise taxes again. The non-partisan, non-profit Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) has just released their Solutions 2013 pamphlet which offers Nevada policymakers 88 pages of policy changes that can result in reduced expenditures, without resorting to tax hikes.
It is the responsibility of Republican leaders to promote fiscally responsible, conservative solutions that put the taxpayers first. As such, we encourage our Republican elected officials to reconsider their support for this tax increase. The CCRP asks all Nevada Republican voters to express their concerns directly to the Governor and any other Republican policymakers who support this misguided proposal.
The CCRCC hereby requires the CCRP Chairman or his support team to submit the above resolution, verbatim and without additional commentary, as a Nevada-wide press release no more than 24 hours after the passage of this resolution by the CCRCC. Furthermore, the CCRP Secretary is hereby required to, within no more than 72 hours, transmit a copy of this resolution on to the Acting Chairman of the Nevada Republican Party and the chairmen of all other county Republican parties in Nevada.
That is a complete and well-articulated renunciation of the Sandoval-Roberson tax hike by the largest official Republican Party organization in the state. It appears the days of go-along-to-get-along, tail-wagging-the-dog, team-player-Republicanism are over – at least in Clark County.
But what of the Nevada GOP and the other 16 county GOP’s? And what of the other elected legislative Republicans?
Kieckhefer is a liberal Republican (63% Citizen Outreach rating for 2011 – 53% NPRI rating) who voted for the tax hike last year…so no surprise whatsoever that Sen. Tax-a-Lot supports raising taxes yet again.
But his support for extending the sunsets – which, as the resolution points out, includes “doubling of both the private-sector payroll tax as well as the cost of business licensing” – is in complete conflict with his own stated position on his campaign website: “We should be crafting tax policy that stimulates growth and attracts new jobs.”
Really, senator? Please, do tell…how does doubling the private-sector payroll tax, as well as the cost of a business license, stimulate growth and attract new jobs, hmmm?
And then there’s Sen. Brower? His is a very curious case.
Brower did not sign the Tax Pledge when he was appointed to fill Sen. Raggio’s seat last year, although he did vote AGAINST the sunset extension. On the other hand, when he was running for Congress briefly last spring in the special election to fill Dean Heller’s seat, Brower DID sign the federal Tax Pledge. However, now that he’s running for re-election to the state Senate, he has NOT signed the state Tax Pledge.
On this Tax Pledge issue, Sen. Brower is the Marco Polo candidate: he’s all over the map.
So what about the other GOP legislators? Are they with the taxpayers and the party’s official platform (“lower taxes”)…or are they with the governor, Roberson and Kieckhefer?
And how about GOP legislative candidates this year, especially those in competitive “swing” districts? Are they Sandoval-Roberson-Kieckhefer Republicans, or are they Ron Paul-Bob Beers-Ed Goedhart Republicans? Inquiring minds wanna know…BEFORE we go into the voting booth…and BEFORE the next legislative session…not after.
And, yeah…we kinda need to insist on getting it in writing. Fool me once and all that.