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Double Trouble, 49er and Three Percent 
by Vice President Knight Allen
Originally published on January 08, 2015 - reprinted with permission

    Last month we took a look back. This month let's look ahead a little.

    I know that most people who like to stay up on things concentrate their energies on the national and international scenes. Why shouldn't they? The ACA/Gruber, IRS targeting, a runaway Justice Department and EPA to mention just a few. Then there's the cracks starting to show in the EU, economic problems in Japan and China, ISIS and a dozen other terrorist groups not to mention Mr. Putin and his attempt to reconstruct the Soviet Union. I get it.

    For me however the question is:   What about right here in Nevada? I fully understand the national and international problems can have serious negative effects on us but there are literally millions upon millions of people doing what they can to correct them. Right here in Nevada? In our own backyard? Not so much. More than once I've sat in the fourth floor room at the Grant Sawyer Building with government insiders, lobbyists and special interest representatives and I was basically the People of Nevada. In some ways that's fun but in others it's kind of disheartening. I'm not giving up and with that in mind here are a few things you might want to watch for in this year's legislative session:

    A Constitutional Amendment to create annual sessions of the legislature. Do you believe doubling the times the legislature can make laws is in our best interests? There are basically three results at the end of a legislative session:

(1) Government is bigger
(2) Government is richer
(3) Government has more ability to direct and control the people.

    Bill Draft Requwsts (BDR's)
#146 Repeal the 2/3 majority requirement to raise taxes.
#147 Repeal Term Limits.

These two BDR's are a direct assault (by Sen. Tick Segerbloom) on the basic contract between We the People and government. These are protections we ourselves put into the Constitution through the initiative/petition process. Is it even remotely possible a Republican legislature could undo them or support annual sessions?

    At my last count (1/31) there are 937 BDR's in the system. There are 14 dealing with "taxation" and 1 dealing with "property taxes." What weapons of mass destruction they represent won't be known until the actual bills are written. Keep your eyes open.

    Speaking of taxes in general, along with the property tax rolls dropped in our driveways was a list showing the overall tax burden for a family of three in 51 cities across the country. Las Vegas came in at #49 with a 6.1% total tax burden. Make no mistake, there are a lot of elected officials, government insiders, talking heads, editorial writers and columnists who hate that number. To them, 6.1% is simply unacceptable and they won't rest until we're at or near the top of the list along with cities like Bridgeport at 19.3% and Philadelphia at 17.6%. That's what the tax BDR's are all about.

    As for property taxes:
Michelle Shafe, our County Assessor and NSC Member sent out the "Notice of Value" card last month. I hope when you got it you didn't just toss it aside because it contains important information. You probably have a double digit increase in the value of your home but thanks to the tax caps all you need to do is take last year's bill and up it by 3%. Michelle also included a graph showing how the caps have worked for us since 2008. Take the time to know and understand this because, make no mistake, just about every "property tax" BDR is looking to weaken or destroy them.

    Everything may be going crazy but Nevada doesn't have to. The Republicans have been given a great opportunity. Let's hope they don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Contact Vice-President Knight Allen

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