Taxpayer Group Files Suit Against Tax Repeal Petition

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A taxpayers group has filed a lawsuit to try to stop signature verification for an initiative petition aimed at repealing last year's record $833 million in state tax increases.

The lawsuit filed Monday by the Nevada Taxpayers Association asks the court to find the "Ax the Tax" initiative petition unconstitutional and to order a halt to the process of checking all the signatures turned in to qualify it for the Nov. 2 ballot.

Association Chairman Fred Gibson released a statement calling the petition "a potential disaster waiting to happen" with unintended consequences and that would shortchange Nevada residents.

George Harris, leader of the tax repeal drive, said his petition will survive the challenge.

He said Monday the signature count was almost finished, and suggested the taxpayer group fears it will qualify for the ballot.

The lawsuit alleges the petition is unconstitutional on three grounds: that it seeks to repeal the taxes rather than proposing their approval or disapproval; that it does not include the full text of the measure; and that it is vague and misleading.

Taxpayer group President Carole Vilardo said the group is confident it will win.

"We don't take filing lawsuits frivolously," she said.

If the measure qualifies and is approved in November, the repeal would go into effect immediately.