Mar 272019
 

AB244: 

Increases 5 Taxes including:Property Taxes, Sales Taxes, Car Registration Taxes, and other Taxes

This was WC1 in 2016 in Washoe County.  The Republican Caucus told me that this new bill applies to Washoe County and all 15 rural counties.  

This is a disastrous shift away from Representative Government from the elected Legislature, County Commissions and School Boards and gives power to an Unelected Biased Committee (see list of appointed members below) to recommend increases in possibly 5 taxes including: PROPERTY TAXES, GOVERNMENT “SERVICE TAX” FOR DRIVING A VEHICLE (registration), SALES TAXES, REAL ESTATE TRANSFER TAX, and Room taxes for hotels and motels.

After the Committee recommends the tax increases the County Commission puts it on the ballot. The Pro-Tax-Increase special interests then spend Millions of dollars to get it passed.

These new taxes are supposed to be used to build and fix school buildings. In Washoe County this has resulted in people leaving that county to purchase a vehicle in another county to avoid increased sales taxes, so it has hurt business and revenues for the county. (See additional information below) HEARING: Thursday, March 28, 4pm, Assembly Taxation Carson City Room 4100Video conferenced to Las Vegas: Room 4406 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Elko, Room 121 of the High Tech Center, Great Basin College, 1500 College Parkway. 

Vote No on AB244. This is a sneaky way to raise 5 taxes by appointing a biased pro-tax- increase committee to determine if the schools are overcrowded and in need of repair. Then these pro-tax groups spend lots of money to impose new taxes when it goes on the ballot. We cannot afford new property taxes, vehicle registration taxes, sales taxes, and property transfer taxes. Why are un-elected and unaccountable people determining whether or not taxes need to be raised? This violates our Constitutional right to a republican form of government.

 Contact the Republican Sponsor: Assemblyman Al Kramer, representing Carson and Washoe [email protected], 775-684-8825, Ask him to withdraw the bill.

Contact the Republican Assembly Minority Leader and ask why a Republican is bringing this Sneaky Tax: Assemblyman Jim Wheeler[email protected], 775-684-8843

Contact all Members of the Assembly Taxation Committee: Chair: [email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected],

Republicans: [email protected][email protected][email protected] (Sponsor) Share your opinion on Legislative Bills: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/80th2019/

Text AB244: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/80th2019/Bills/AB/AB244.pdf Background: AB244 authorizes the Board of Trustees of a School District to establish the Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs Committee. This un-elected Committee then recommends the possible imposition of 5 tax increases on property taxes, government service tax for vehicles, sales tax, property transfer tax, and taxes on the gross receipts from the transient lodging (hotels/motels) to fund capital projects of the school districts.

Page 4 Section 2 of AB244: the Committee “shall, on or before April 2, 2022: (a) Prepared recommendations for the imposition of one or more of the taxes …to provide funding for the school district….” Then the Count Commissioners SHALL at the next general election, submit the question to the voters. What happened in Washoe County on WC1 in 2016 is that a Million Dollars were spent to pass the question. It passed. (see info from Jeff Church below)     

Makeup of the Biased Pro-Tax Committee: Superintendent of the School District. One State Senator whose District encompasses part or all of the School District. One Assemblyman whose District encompasses part or all of the School District.

One member each representing: the Nevada Association of Realtors, Retailers Association of Nevada, Board of County Commissioners, Mayor of each city in the district, Oversight Panel for School Facilities, Labor organization appointed by the AFL-CIO, licensed Educator appointed by Teachers Union NSNEA, one member of the general public appointed by the PTA, member appointed by Regional Economic Development Authority, Gaming appointed by gaming association, business and commercial interestes appointed by chamber of commerce, homebuilders appointed by homebuilders association.

The U.S. Constitution Art. IV Section 4: “shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” That means that we are not governed by un-elected unaccountable “Committees”. It does mean that we are governed by duly elected Representatives. This is a good way for elected Legislators, County Commissioners and School Board members to avoid accountability for raising taxes.

AB244 Tax for School Building Information from Jeffrey Church: www.RenoTaxRevolt.com[email protected] Summary: AB244 is likely illegal and (WC1) has proven to be a disaster for Washoe County. WC1 hurt Reno-Sparks-Washoe tax revenue and the school district lacked any funding for teachers in buildings once completed. There are alternatives (listed at end). 

AB244 is based 100% on two prior measures from 2016 and 2018 in Washoe County. 2018 failed but WC1 in 2016 has proven to be a disaster for many reasons. Neither has been tested in court but there are many legal issues to be addressed. The lawsuit on 2018 was well researched drafted but as the measure failed the point became moot.  Because the research is done and before we go thru any costly elections, we need an LCB opinion or recognize the prior LCB opinion (Sept 7, 2015 on SB119) and kill this. Tax increases are the responsibility of the legislature by a 2/3 majority. LCB has opined that the legislature may pass that authority to an elected local government. “…a bill which only authorizes or enables but does not require, a local government to take action…” “… the discretionary decision… is left to the ultimate determination of the local government…” AB244 violates that opinion. Legally, it has never been resolved if the legislature may so delegate to local government however this delegates the authority to a obviously biased unelected committee. Research nationwide shows this in unprecedented. Under AB244 the unelected committee determines the type, length and amount of tax and the elected County Commission is “required” to place it on the ballot. Please see Writ that has been drafted. And NV Constitution Art 4 -18(3):  Only the legislature “may refer any measure … to the people…” not to a biased committee. A majority of all of the members elected to each House may refer any measure which creates, generates, or increases any revenue in any form to the people of the State at the next general election, and shall become effective and enforced only if it has been approved by a majority of the votes cast on the measure at such election. 

From a previous related matter: I’ve gotten an opinion from LCB (Legislative Counsel Bureau) Legal that says the Legislature, by majority vote, can approve or authorize the Clark County Commission to impose a sales tax,” Segerblom said. “And then the Clark County Commission, by a majority vote, can enact a sales tax. “The (LCB) advised the Legislature that it was the opinion of this office that the two-thirds majority requirement does not apply to a bill delegating discretionary power to a local government which authorizes or enables, but does not require, the local government  to carry out taxation.” Legislative opinions entitled to deference (Nev. Mining Ass’n 117 Nev. At 540) (Howell, 26 Nev. At 114)

Outside of the legal issues WC1 2016 in Washoe had the following result:

Passage of WC1 (2016) resulted in DECREASED tax revenue for Reno and Washoe and related governments.Estimated that over a million dollars was spent by special interests for WC1 and the opposition had no such funds. It was simply unfair. 

Once passed as a sales tax making Reno-Washoe the highest sales tax in Nevada, car buyers fled in droves to Carson, Fernley and Lyon. A new Jeep and Dodge dealer opened in Fernley (an off shoot of Reno Dodge) and a Chevrolet Dealer (Wild West) in Yerington. Car dealers outside Washoe saw sustained double digest increase in sales. Washoe “big ticket” car sales saw a drop in April and only a single digest rebound thereafter as the economy boomed and Reno’s population increased 7% annually. With the added Washoe RTC gas tax many residents report they travel outside Reno to buy gas and shop. That decrease in revenue hurt other local government that depend on sales tax. In other words Reno and Washoe lost millions in revenue every time a buyer went outside of Washoe. On a $40,000 truck, that’s at $3,000 sales tax loss. I have the stats! They are monthly from the Nevada Department of Taxation. Take a look! The next failure of WC1 is that Washoe thus far built 3 new schools but due to budget issues had not a single new teacher! Not one! Classroom overcrowding increased not decreased! And finally, anytime a bidder sees dedicated money open to public record they know they can bid high. WCSD estimated the cost of a high school at an outrageously high price of $110 million. Damonte Ranch cost $36 million. Upon the passage of WC1 the cost of schools doubled and the new Wildcreek HS is estimated at $220 million! Yes $36 million vs $110 million vs $210 million. That’s taxpayer money! Those that don’t remember the lessons of the past are condemned to relive them. Again AB244 is legally flawed and needs LCB review. Of course even then if passed, the case will likely be decided by the Nevada Supreme Court.

Alternative: Authorize the lawfully elected County Commission to draft and place a measure on the ballot. Of course other viable alternatives exist. A more “think outside the box” alternative is listed next:

Alternative #2: A State funded rural boarding School. Why do only the rich get to go to boarding schools? Unfortunately one of the highest costs is at risk children, many living with parents, single working parents, drug abuse in the home and actual homeless. A voluntary live-in boarding school rurally located with sports, horse back riding, tech training, and a quality education takes a major burden off local school districts and a win-win for all. Jeffrey Church www.RenoTaxRevolt.com[email protected]

You can help Nevada Families for Freedom by contributing online: www.nevadafamilies.org    Please make checks payable to Nevada Families, not tax deductible, 186 Ryndon Unit 12, Elko, NV 89801