Nevada tax foe says two measures will qualify for ballot

Nevada tax foes have collected enough signatures to force a public vote on repealing a record $833 million tax increase, the leader of the petition drive said.

A judge gave Nevadans for Sound Government an extra 35 days to collect signatures after backers of the petition testified they had been harassed and arrested outside government buildings.

About 68,000 people have signed the "Ax the Tax" petition, and 65,000 have signed another petition prohibiting local and state government employees from serving in elected office, said George Harris, leader of Nevadans for Sound Government.

Each measure needs 51,337 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Each also must have signatures from a minimum of 10 percent of the voters in 13 of Nevada's 17 counties.

Harris said both petitions will be turned in next Tuesday to voting registrars and county clerks across the state. He credited publicity generated by the arrests and the subsequent court action for helping their efforts.

At the time of the court hearings, Harris said the tax petition had 44,000 signatures and the government employees petition had 36,000.

If voters repeal the tax increase, collection of the taxes could end when the state Supreme Court certifies election results a couple of weeks after the election.

Gov. Kenny Guinn would be forced to make budget cuts and could call the Legislature into special session to deal with budget issues.

The state employees initiative could affect as many as 16 of the state's 63 legislators who held full-time government or teaching jobs when the drive started.


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