Assembly Shuts Down As Tax Impasse Continues

Nevada Legislature 2003
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The Assembly shut down today as an impasse over a record Nevada tax plan continued, leaving senators to try salvaging their tax proposal that failed because a political deal was slipped into one of its nearly 200 sections.

Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins declined to blame any particular senators for the new wording in the Senate proposal that caused it to lose last night in the Senate by just one vote.

Fourteen votes, a two-thirds majority, are needed in the 21-seat Senate on tax measures, and the tally was 13-to-8.

Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus got Senator Mark Amodei to acknowledge he inserted the language in the nearly $860 million tax proposal that would have let some gambling licensees relocate to neighborhoods where gambling is currently prohibited.

Titus says Senator Mike Schneider wanted the new wording.

Schneider said the change would help properties that sell time-shares in their rooms - including a Las Vegas property in which he had once invested. But he says there was nothing inappropriate or secretive about his proposal.

Titus says the incident showed what can go wrong when lawmakers try to rush. She says Schneider wanted the revision, and Amodei "was willing to give it to him for his vote" on the Senate tax bill.

Perkins says Assembly leaders will stick around to continue negotiating with senators on another tax proposal, and other Assembly members could be called back on short notice to discuss and vote on that plan.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)