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Initiative would close tax-hike loophole

It’s a law of human nature. If you give students a week to complete a term paper, they will take the full week to complete the term paper. If you give those same students a month, they’ll take the full month.

Same goes for politicians spending your money. If you give them a dollar, they’ll spend the full dollar. Give them $5 , they’ll spend the full $5. Give them $7.3 billion and they’ll spend the full $7.3 billion.

Indeed, the only way to keep the politicians from spending more of your money is to stop giving them more of your money. To borrow a phrase, it’s the spending, stupid.

Fortunately, back in the 1990s Nevada voters approved a tax restraint law that requires legislators in Carson City to get a two-thirds super-majority vote to raise taxes and take more of your money. Unfortunately, liberals have a found a loophole in the law.

Knowing how difficult it now is to pass a tax hike in the Legislature, they’ve begun to shift tax hikes to the ballot box, where 50.1 percent of voters can vote to raise taxes on the other 49.9 percent of us.

To close this loophole, conservative Assemblywoman Jill Dickman, R-Washoe, has introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 8, which would “amend the Nevada Constitution to require that an initiative petition which creates, generates or increases any public revenue be approved by the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the voters voting on the question.”

The Dickman Tax Restraint Initiative is a necessary check on the insatiable appetite of liberals in both parties who insist they know how to spend your money better than you do.

It would also close the loophole sneaky legislators have found whereby they can circumvent the existing tax restraint law by voting to place tax hikes on the ballot without going through the trouble and expense of gathering the requisite number of signatures otherwise required by citizens to put an issue on the ballot.

The Dickman Tax Restraint Initiative would make it far more difficult to put tax hikes on the ballot and far more expensive to mislead … er, lobby the electorate to pass them. It does not diminish the average voter’s power to defeat tax hikes sponsored by deep-pocketed special interests; it enhances it.

Lastly, an argument has been made that it’s one thing to handcuff the Legislature with the two-thirds super-majority requirement, but that a majority of the electorate should be sufficient to exercise the will of the people. But that argument argues against itself.

If a majority of voters vote to require a two-thirds super-majority of voters to approve tax hikes on the ballot, that’s the will of the people.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.

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