Nevada State Senator Pete Goicoechea spoke briefly about some of the items discussed in his weekly conference call with Assemblymen James Oscarson and John Ellison.
“We talked some about the new tax bill, the business license fee. That was a big topic as well as the public lands bill. There seems to likely be some movement fairly quickly in Washington on that,” he said.
Other bills they are dealing with include a few gun bills, including prohibiting domestic violence abusers from possessing guns and making it a bit easier for out of state gun owners to carry a concealed gun in Nevada.
Another bill, Senate Bill 175, would consider it justifiable homicide if a person was defending their vehicle or motor home by a person who intends to enter to assault someone. Deadly force is justified in Nevada if a person believes that his or her life or safety, or the life or safety of another, is in jeopardy.
Earlier this session Assembly Bill 167, which would allow state residents with concealed-weapons permits, and law enforcement officers to carry loaded weapons on their person in a home or car and still be eligible to be foster parents, won approval in the Assembly.
The business license fee is the Governor’s new bill, which Goicoechea says will effective create “a Nevada IRS, and you would pay a fee portionate to your gross revenues.” He said he felt it, “will really pound the hell out of the small business guys. It’s not a brutal tax as far as dollar amount, but looks to me like it will also be very easy to roll up and change the numbers and become a significant tax that could generate about half a billion dollars over the biennium, but one that is going to be paid predominately by small business.” He said it is technically supposed to help pay for the $500 million education enhancements the Governor wants to see.
If the bill is passed, it will cost anyone with a business license a minimum of $400 a year.
A bill in the legislature to create a state lottery for education is a ways away, he thought. “That’s a constitutional amendment. Gaming has always opposed that, but it’s rapidly getting to a point of doing it. People are going out of state to play the lottery, so why not here.”
Forty-four states now operate lotteries, while Nevada – which legalized casino gaming in 1931 – does not. The prohibition was placed in Nevada’s constitution at statehood in 1864. It was amended by voters in 1990 to allow lotteries operated by charitable organizations, but and all efforts since 1975 to create a state lottery had been turned down.
Voter ID bill in the legislature was another point of discussion in the conference call. Goicoechea says he is in support of such an idea. “I think you should be required to show something, especially if you are in a place where you are not known by the local election board. Nonetheless, everybody will be required to show ID and I’m not opposed to that.”
Just this week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Wisconsin voter ID law.
The weekly conference calls are open to the public. Goicoechea said, “Anyone with a question or who wants an update is invited to join in.” Or, they may call the office numbers during regular business hours.
The conference call sessions are expected to be each Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The number is 1-866-949-6798, ID number 9995146#.