Senate Republicans sue to stop tax bills |

Senate Republicans sue to stop tax bills

Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, chats with a colleague before the opening of the 2017 state legislature..
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

Republicans in the Nevada Senate are challenging two bills they say violate the Nevada Constitution because they increased taxes without getting the required two-thirds majority.

“We have checks and balances for a reason and eroding the two-thirds requirement is an unprecedented disregard for the constitution and creates a dangerous precedent.” said Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden.

The Republicans named Gov. Steve Sisolak and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro in a lawsuit they filed in Carson City District Court on Friday.

“While there was ample money to fund education and other vital programs, Sisolak and Cannizzaro acted recklessly and their behavior created an unnecessary constitutional crisis at the expense of over 23,000 small business in Nevada,” Settelmeyer said.

In addition to Settelmeyer, seven other Senate Republicans who voted against senate bills 542 and 551 are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Senate Bill 551 eliminated the requirement that the Nevada Department of Taxation determine whether payroll tax rates should be reduced in even years.

The bill fixed tax rates and eliminated the payroll rate reduction.

“The effect … is to create, generate and increase public revenue as a result of the elimination of scheduled reductions in payroll tax rates,” according to the lawsuit.

Senate Bill 542 extended a technology fee collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles starting July 1, 2020, eliminating the sunset for the fee.

The Republicans are represented by Carson City law firm of Allison MacKenzie.