Let’s see two-thirds on this one

This little snafu regarding the payroll tax is the funniest thing to happen at the Nevada Legislature since it was last in session.

And if you don’t get that joke, you might as well move on to Letters, next page.

Here’s the deal, according to various political wags and published news reports. Basically, after taking the state’s children and poor people hostage in order to prevent a real broad-based business tax, after unconstitutionally forcing Gov. Kenny Guinn to call special sessions by not passing a tax plan, after calling the governor everything but a patriot when he was forced to go to the Supreme Court to get a tax plan to help finance our state government, our legislature approved a broader-based tax plan than the anti-tax, anti-reality legislators wanted to allow. In other words, they raised taxes on some of the very people they were trying to protect.

This some-say flawed aspect to the tax plan is called the “payroll tax,” and was supposed to set a 2 percent payroll tax on banks and other financial businesses and a .7 percent rate on other businesses. The problem is that Senate Bill 8, the signed-into-law tax package, included language about holding companies—corporations that own smaller businesses through stock.

Now, one of the sub-jokes on this thing is that the anti-tax, anti-reality legislators arrogantly claimed throughout the regular and special sessions that they knew more about the various tax plans and places in the budget deserving of financial cuts than other people, including the governor. In fact, one of their demands was that the governor reopen the budget, so they could make their compassionate cuts. All the while, some legislators danced on marionette strings while their corporate puppeteers protected their own wallets by trying to stick other types of business with the bill.

So, guess which types of business have holding companies? Can’t guess which businesses might have to pay higher taxes if the law is enforced as agreed upon by a two-thirds majority of the Nevada senate and assembly and as signed into law by Gov. Kenny Guinn? How about the holding company for Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power companies and some of the largest casinos in the state?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Now, you don’t have to be Buddha to see that this is nothing but instant karma. Still, you’d have to be a fool to believe that the powers that be, like the power utility or any holding company-owned casinos, will allow this law to stand as written. Our guess is that the Nevada Tax Commission will be able to implement a tax that only taxes the holding companies that didn’t pay top dollar to their lobbyists.

If, though, that won’t suffice, nobody over here at Reno News & Review World Headquarters would be surprised to hear that a third special session will be called to write and enact an exception to Senate Bill 8. We would also not be surprised, though, if some of the best political minds in Carson City are working on ways that the exception could be construed as a de facto tax hike on the rest of us that requires a two-thirds vote for passage.