Tax increase foisted on Nevada.
Earlier in the month, the Nevada state supreme court--ruling on a suit against the legislature brought by Nevada's liberal Republican governor Kenny Guinn--nullified a provision of the state constitution requiring that all tax increases be approved by a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the legislature. The court's 6-1 ruling held that this provision conflicted with the legislature's constitutional mandate to "provide for a uniform system of common schools...." Republican legislators obtained a temporary restraining order and prepared an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The supermajority provision, insisted the Nevada high court, was merely a "procedural requirement that is general in nature."
Critiquing the Nevada decision, UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh wrote: "If the court is willing to nullify 'general procedural rules' so that it can order the legislature to fund education, why stop at the two-thirds supermajority? What if it turns out that the Legislature can't even get a simple majority for a tax increase? Under the court's reasoning, it should nullify the 50-percent-plus-1 requirement, too...."
The Nevada governor and supreme court conspired to amend the state constitution illegally, defy the will of the electorate, and extort a tax increase from the legislature. To comply with the court's order without ratifying its spurious modification of the constitution, the legislature had to muster a two-thirds majority on behalf of the despised tax plan.
It's safe to assume that other revenue-strapped state governments nationwide will diligently study and eventually copy the strategy used to force a tax increase on Nevada's legislature and electorate.
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|Title Annotation:||Insider Report|
|Publication:||The New American|
|Date:||Aug 11, 2003|
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