GOP Assemblyman Goicoechea WRONG On Tax Increase

Let me first say that it truly pains me to have to write a criticism of one of my fellow Republicans. Especially, considering the fact that I respect Mr. Goicoechea’s position as an elected Nevada State Assemblyman.

However, when I read the article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal titled “Republican Legislative Leader Suggests Sales Tax On Food”, I just about fell out of my chair! So, I then started reading and came across the Assemblyman’s quote, “I believe that we should have had a 2 percent sales tax on food on the ballot this fall,” Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, said on KRNV-TV’s Nevada Newsmakers. I guess you can see why I would be so shocked–you mean to tell me that we have a Republican in the Assembly that’s proposing one of the most regressive tax increases our citizenry could face!

I called Assemblyman Goicoechea after reading the article and said that I wanted to respectfully disagree with his idea of adding a 2% tax on food. We had a very frank and respectful discussion on this, and we decided that we would just have to agree to disagree on this. I’ll also say that as Republicans and citizens we need to be having more of these types of discussions–I don’t know anyone that has all the answers to our problems, but we need to talk about them and work toward meaningful solutions.

During the discussion with Assemblyman Goicoechea, I made it very clear that this kind of tax would hurt the middle and lower-income families in our state. I also informed him that during a time when we are seeing record unemployment, inflation, and costs of basic services on the rise; a tax like this is destructive. Families throughout the state of Nevada, and more specifically in cities like Las Vegas and Reno are experiencing “Depression” like effects of this current economy–a tax on food would just add to their pain!

Let me say that the Assemblyman listened to my concerns and while we disagreed, I appreciated his time in allowing me to discuss my feelings. Assemblyman Goicoechea is a nice-enough guy, and I don’t have any issues with him personally. All I can say is that we need to be talking about how we are going to diversify our local economy, fix our education system, continue implementing cuts on state services that will NOT impact low-income families, the disabled, and our veterans. It is true that we may not be able to cut $3 billion dollars out of the state budget–however, we need to offer solutions that will not hurt Nevada families. Taxing our food is just a bad idea and I can’t support it.

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