Angle and Gustavson file Prop. 13 petition for fourth time
December 18, 2007
Former Assembly members Sharron Angle and Don Gustavson have embarked on their fourth attempt to make California’s Proposition 13 the rule in Nevada.
The two, both Republicans, filed the initiative with the Secretary of State’s office, saying they don’t trust the Nevada Legislature not to change the caps on property tax increases imposed in the 2005 Legislature.
“We have to get it solid in the Constitution so it can’t be changed every two years,” he said.
The petition is basically the same as ones they filed in 2004, 2006 and the one filed earlier this year, which they later withdrew. It would roll back taxes on property to what they were in 2003-04, then limit annual increases in property tax to 2 percent and, like 2006, allow a property owner 62 or older to replace his residence with another and transfer the capped value of his old residence to the new home.
Angle said she believes voters will approve the constitutional amendment, “if we can get it to the ballot and if we can keep this out of the courts.”
Teachers and other groups are expected to challenge it in court.
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Angle admitted they have a relatively tight budget. She said they have about $50,000 for a legal defense fund but expect they will need $150,000 to finance collecting signatures and another $150,000 to market the plan to Nevada voters.
One of her supporters, Bill Fiedrich of Verdi, said he backs the plan because it isn’t fair he has to pay large taxes to support services he doesn’t use.
He cited schools, saying he no longer has children in school, and libraries as examples.
He said the people who need those services should pay for them.
To put the question on the November 2008 ballot, they will have to raise nearly 80,000 signatures. To make the language part of the Nevada Constitution, it would have to pass twice in consecutive elections.
This is actually the fifth time California’s Prop. 13 has been submitted in Nevada. Before Angle and Gustavson did so, Joe Mathews of Sun Valley brought the idea from California and managed to put it on the Nevada ballot.
It passed in 1978 but, in 1980, lawmakers convinced a majority of Nevadans not to support the plan, promising instead major changes in state tax laws. They made those changes in the 1981 session, dramatically reducing the property tax and replacing it with an increased gaming tax for the state and a big boost in the state’s sales tax to support schools and local governments.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.
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