Appeal on three ballot petitions filed

CARSON CITY — Advocates of two proposed ballot petitions to cap revenue for the Las Vegas convention authority and a third plan to restrict tax-raising ballot questions filed a court appeal Friday to revive the plans rejected by Secretary of State Ross Miller.

The appeal to Carson City District Court states Miller sided with “special interests” in blocking the measures, which supporters are trying to place on the November ballot.

Former state Treasurer Bob Seale pushed the revenue caps, and former state Controller Steve Martin promoted the ballot restriction plan.

The plans, all backed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. owner Sheldon Adelson, were opposed by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the state AFL-CIO.

Miller sided with the critics’ arguments that the affidavits of petition circulators lacked a required statement of the number of signatures, and also lacked a required statement that each signer had a chance to read the full text of the plans prior to signing the petitions.

Two of the petitions would take most new room tax revenues normally allocated to the convention authority and use the money either exclusively on statewide education needs or in equal measures for education, transportation and public safety.

The third measure would impose a two-thirds vote requirement for approval of ballot measures that would raise taxes.

Each proposal needed a minimum of 58,836 signatures.

Proponents had said the two revenue-cap plans each had more than 111,000 signatures while the plan to restrict any tax-raising ballot questions had nearly 123,000 signatures.

Miller said county clerks and registrars couldn’t verify any of the signatures because of the flaws. Based on those determinations, he said the petitions “failed to substantially comply with statutory and constitutional requirements.”

The Review-Journal contributed to this report.


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