Nevada – Supreme Court Permits Challenge to Commerce Tax

SALT Report 3808 – The Nevada Supreme Court just handed down its ruling in Coalition for Nevada’s Future v. RIP Commerce Tax, a case involving Nevada’s new Commerce Tax on gross receipts that went into effect on July 1, 2015. Opponents of the tax had begun gathering signatures to force a referendum to repeal it on this November’s ballot, and supporters of the tax challenged the petition. They claimed the referendum would violate Nevada’s balanced budget requirement because the tax’s repeal would unbalance the budget, that the petition can only challenge a statutory section and not a number of an enacted bill, that pasting the text of the bill is an improper form of petition, and that the petition’s description didn’t explain the budgetary consequences.

The Court concludes that the referendum is valid but the petition’s description must be rewritten to specify that voter disapproval of the Commerce Tax will unbalance the state budget.

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