Nevada Tax Repeal Effort Likely To Fail

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A referendum to repeal Nevada's record $836 million tax increase likely will not qualify for the November ballot, the leader of the effort said Friday.

George Harris, chairman of Nevadans for Sound Government, said it was a long shot that his group would collect the 51,234 signatures required by May 18 to qualify for the election.

He said funds are diminishing and the effort has lost more than a dozen people who joined another petition drive launched by the Nevada State Education Association. That group is circulating a petition to force the state to fund education at the national average.

Harris partially blamed what he called government interference for the shortfall of signatures. He said his group encountered difficulties in gathering signatures at a state Department of Motor Vehicles Office in Reno, a UNLV football game in Las Vegas and a county fair in Logandale.

Harris' petition would have called for all but an estimated $121 to $131 million of the tax increase approved by the 2003 Legislature to be repealed. Tax revenues earmarked for education would have been preserved.