Nevada Business Tax Initiative Ruled Invalid

Judge James Wilson in Carson City ruled that a proposed tax increase initiative authored by Nevada teachers is invalid. Judge Wilson ruled that the description of the initiative was deceptive and misleading.

Nevada tax ballot measures work differently than in most other states. If enough signatures are gathered on the initiative, then the measure is submitted to the next session of the state legislature. Nevada’s legislature meets every-other-year (in odd-numbered years), so a petition that gets submitted in 2013 won’t actually get in front of the legislature until 2015.

The legislature then must consider the measure. If the legislature agrees to it, then it becomes law. If not, it then is submitted to a vote of the people in the next regular election (held on even-numbered years). So a petition that is submitted in 2013 won’t get voted on until 2016. But I digress….

The ballot measure would have imposed a margin tax on businesses in the Silver State. Needless to say, large businesses weren’t happy with the idea and opposed the measure. A legal effort was mounted charging that the description of the initiative was misleading so it can’t be submitted to the legislature. This is the second time the initiative’s language was ruled to be misleading.

While the ruling can be appealed, this effectively means that the earliest the legislature would consider such a tax is 2016.

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