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Let’s start with some good news. AB2O1 the stealth property tax increase died in Committee on 4/12/13. As a side note and a meaculpa, my math was in error. When the Legislative Counsel Bureau stated ‘an increase from 35 to 45 percent they weren’t talking about property taxes. It was the rate at which the assessed value would be taxed and would result, all things being equal, in a tax increase of “only” 28½%. It was a bad bill and its demise is good news.
Another piece of positive news is AB173. This is particularly comforting for those who are not fans of smart meters and the massive increase in information and control they give to NVEnergy. AB173 deals with the idea of “time-of-use” billing. It prohibits NVE from imposing this billing system on anyone who doesn’t want it.
AB173 has massive support from some very big guns. Our own NSC member Doctor Herb Randall, in his position as President of the Nevada Silver Haired Forum testified in favor of the bill. So did AARP along with the Consumer Protection Office of the Attorney General. And, as the cherry on the icing on the cake, NVE itself supports putting into statute the promise they have been making all -a1ong that if we don’t want “time-of-use” pricing we will not be forced into it.
Needless to say the bill sailed through the Committee and passed in the full Assembly unanimously and is now in the Senate. It’s a good bill and I hope by the time you read this it will have passed in the Senate and been signed by the Governor. These two bills represent the whole range of ideas that are part of any legislative session. One so bad and rooted in institutional backroom, hidden agendas and the other something that puts into law a protection that shouldn’t even be necessary but, unfortunately, in this day and age — is.
Out of the blue I got a call from Ken Mahal. He sounded real good and seems to be quite content living in Florida. One of the interesting things about Ken and I is our ability to pick right up from where we left off even months ago. We talked the gamut from national and state politics, sports, how each of us is doing and, of course, the Coalition. He wanted me to be sure to offer all of you his very best wishes and to let you know he thinks about the group often.