Throughout the legislative session I consistently stated that I would not support new or increased taxes without the support of the people. Through the ballot process, Nevadans have an opportunity to voice their concerns or support for tax increases. I believe this is the prudent course of action that allows taxpayers to make the decision directly by ballot if they choose.
I took a pledge that I would not raise your taxes. I have stuck by this pledge and will continue to do so.
If taxes are to be increased on residents of Churchill and Lyon counties, then they should be provided the opportunity to exercise their support or opposition through the ballot process. The bill that was introduced did not allow for taxpayers in Churchill and Lyon counties to vote on tax increases that affect them.
I also believe that every alternative must be explored before a tax increase is imposed. While this can often be a difficult process, it can be done.
Take, for example, the transportation plan passed this past session that provides an additional $1 billion dollars in funding without increasing taxes. Transportation is the most basic of needs for a community, and without it, economic development, tourism, and basic day-to-day functions aren't possible.
Without raising taxes, the transportation plan simply allocates existing revenues to places that provide a common good in the specific region where residents and tourists stand to benefit. Diversion of local resources to meet local needs will improve accessibility and safety for all who travel on Nevada's roads.
I remain committed to ensuring that all Nevadans are given a voice in the process to raise or impose new taxes.
The ballot has proven to be an effective and viable alternative that limits arbitrary tax increases on the hard working people of this state.