Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"T Word" Fireworks

With today being the deadline for most bills to pass their originating houses in the Nevada Legislature, reality is setting in for legislators whose bills don't seem to have the votes to survive tonight. And with the deadline for the Legislature to act on The Education Initiative (aka IP 1) long gone, any legislators who were hoping to craft a competing tax reform initiative have had to relinquish their fantasies. Well, that is, any legislators not named Michael Roberson (R-Henderson) have had to.

Never mind that the law may not agree with Senator Roberson. And never mind that the politics certainly don't seem to agree with him. Despite the many legal & political obstacles Senator Roberson and his IP 1 alternative mining tax face, he still refuses to give it up.

In fact, he's pressing on with it. He's releasing details of his IP 1 alternative tomorrow. And it's already developed a bipartisan consensus. Unfortunately for Roberson, it's increasingly looking like a strong bipartisan consensus of opposition to his tax plan.

In a letter sent to each senator Tuesday, Roberson invited Democrats and critical Republicans alike to provide input on the details of his proposed mining tax.

"It is my sincere hope that this legislation will be bipartisan in nature and that we put politics aside and collectively do what is right for the children of our state," Roberson wrote in the letter. [...]

"We don't do industry-specific taxes," said Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, an early opponent of Roberson's effort. "I know he's using one of his emergency measures for this, but I don't know what the point is. Leadership isn't going to let it pass. It's not going to get a hearing." [...]

"I want a bipartisan proposal that happens this legislative session that produces more funding for this school year," said Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Reno, who hadn't yet seen the letter that was sent to her office this afternoon.

"I'm not really amenable to doing an alternative," said Denis. "However, I want to be open, and I've committed to meeting with him," he said, noting he has an appointment with Roberson tomorrow.

Yikes. This isn't looking good for Senator Roberson. After all, this has been his "brilliant" plan to defeat IP 1. Instead, it just looks like Education Initiative supporters have the better chance of securing the last laugh while Roberson's mining tax alternative dies in the crossfire of convoluted Carson City politics.

Last week, Senator Debbie Smith wasn't buying Governor Brian Sandoval's (R-Denial) line of BS over "The Sunset Taxes". This week, she's reading Roberson. Can he really survive amidst all that shade?

And on top of that, Roberson continues to run into trouble with his own party. Good luck with Governor Sandoval. And good luck with Sharron Angle.

So expect fireworks this week... But I have a feeling Senator Roberson may not appreciate this fireworks show.

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