Backers of failed petitions won't appeal

Leaders of three failed petition drives say they've given up on court appeals to put their proposals before voters on Nov. 2.

Nevadans for Sound Government Chairman George Harris said Friday his organization won't appeal a decision by Carson City District Judge Bill Maddox that kept off the ballot a plan to repeal the record $833 million tax increase approved by lawmakers in 2003.

He also won't appeal Maddox's decision that kept off the ballot another petition to allow voters to decide whether government employees can serve in the Legislature.

Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, R-Reno, said she won't go to the state Supreme Court to try to place her petition to limit property tax increases on the ballot.

All three petitions failed to get the 51,337 signatures to automatically win a place on the ballot.

The Ax the Tax referendum fell 4,500 signatures short; the property tax petition, 5,000 signatures short; and the government employees petition, 7,000 signatures short.

Harris and Angle said they were concerned because absentee ballots for the election already have been printed and distributed to Nevadans serving overseas in the military.

"We decided it was too late if we needed to reprint ballots for our servicemen," Angle said.

"We have to worry about the election and make sure no one is disenfranchised," Harris added.

Harris maintained the Supreme Court is stacked with "liberal, activist judges" who support higher taxes and who would reject any appeal to put the anti-tax petition before voters.

Angle will try at the 2005 Legislature to put her property tax limit plan into law -- and then to put it on the ballot in 2006.

She said it is important that voters place property tax increase limits in the state constitution where they cannot be changed without a vote of the people.

"We need a constitutional guarantee since every time the Legislature meets they could change property tax laws," Angle said.


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