Nevada Legislative Tax Exemptions Amendment, Question 3 (2008)

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The Nevada Legislative Tax Exemptions Amendment, also known as Question 3, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Nevada, where it was approved.

Election results

Question 3 (Legislative Tax Exemption)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 518,733 60.13%
No344,01739.87%

Official results via: Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau - Research Division

Background

Before the amendment's passage, there was no constitutional or statutory language establishing specific provisions the Legislature must consider when granting an exemption from property tax or sales and use tax, nor is the Legislature required to include a specific expiration date for an exemption.

The question came to the ballot as Assembly Joint Resolution No. 16 of the 73rd Legislative Session.

Specific Provisions

The measure enacted the following provisions:

  • Require the state legislature to determine the social and economic purpose and benefits of any exemptions from property taxes or sales taxes before enacting such exemptions.
  • Require that such exemptions come with specific expiration dates and that similar classes of taxpayers be required to meet similar requirements for qualifying for the exemptions

The official ballot question for the measure reads:

Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to require that, before it can enact an exemption from property tax or from sales and use tax, the Nevada Legislature must: (1) make certain findings regarding the social or economic purpose and benefits of the exemption; (2) ensure that similar classes of taxpayers must meet similar requirements for claiming exemptions; and (3) provide a specific date on which the exemption will expire?

Supporters

Arguments in Support

Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • When a particular group of taxpayers is given the benefit of an exemption, the legislature should be required to give just cause for such an exemption.
  • There is no constitutional or statutory language establishing specific provisions the Legislature must consider when granting an exemption from property tax or sales and use tax, nor is the Legislature required to include a specific expiration date for an exemption. Supporters say this measure would rectify that situation.
  • Requiring a sunset provision on exemptions will help ensure that exemptions do not outlive their usefulness or reduce revenues unnecessarily.

Opponents

Editorial Opponents:

  • The Las Vegas Sun[1]

Arguments in Opposition

Notable arguments made in opposition to the measure included:

  • The proposed amendment assumes that the legislature does not consider whether a proposed property or sales and use tax exemption provides a bona fide social or economic purpose or whether the benefits of the exemption will exceed its costs.
  • This amendment does not establish standards for making such determinations, so this amendment may have no effect at all.
  • Requiring the Legislature to set a date for expiration of the exemptions may still allow them to be active for a very long time. Prior Legislatures have established sunset dates when enacting property tax or sales and use tax exemptions.
  • There is no need to clutter the Constitution with this measure.

See also

External links

References