Monday, April 02, 2007

Exemption from Taxation Without Representation

Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) has bought a couple more ranches in Spring Valley. That's a couple more businesses that won't be paying taxes in White Pine County. That's a little more desperate our White Pine County officials will be for funds. But that's not all. Senate Bill 405 has been introduced. SB 405 is essentially the next step in a systematic effort to oppress Rural Nevada. Just how far can this go?

PLAN, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, has published this:

Even as the Nevada Legislature is struggling to correct a two-year-old law that bans conservation groups from commenting on environmental actions by the state government, a new law could essentially ban both citizen groups and local governments from participating in the critical decision-making process over water rights applications.

The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada is asking organizations and individuals to oppose Senate Bill 405, a sweeping overhaul of state water law that also attacks existing Nevada water law by telling the State Engineer, now the chief regulatory officer for the resource in the state, exactly how to do his job and what factors he can consider when deciding what is and isn’t “beneficial use.”

The bill is being pushed by Sen. Mark Amodei, a former partner of the lawyer for Vidler Water Co., a water marketing company that serves as the paid water agency for the Lincoln County government. Vidler is represented in the Legislature by the Las Vegas law firm of Kummer, Kaempfer, Bonner and Renshaw, of which Amodei is a partner.

Vidler and the Southern Nevada Water Authority are working to pump billions of gallons annually from rural Nevada and Utah to urban Clark County, a move that would destroy the environment and lifestyles in a huge area of the Great Basin.

Bob Fulkerson, PLAN executive director, noted that a hearing on Amodei’s bill Wednesday attracted lobbyists from Vidler, the SNWA and the growth and development lobby, which is banking on the Water Grab as fuel for continued out-of-control development in Southern Nevada.

We’re asking everyone who’s concerned about our environment and quality of life anywhere in Nevada to oppose this really terrible piece of legislation,” Fulkerson said. “If this passes, the public will be excluded from the decision-making process on some of our most critical environmental issues.

Last week, SWNA testified in favor of Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie's bill to motivate public participation in water decisions by extending the protest period on water applications,” he said. “This week, an army of SNWA lobbyists silently acquiesced to provisions in Amodei's bill to totally gut public participation. They can't have it both ways..."

A hearing on this bill has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 4, at 3:30 p.m. in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. So far, it does not appear to be scheduled for a video link to Las Vegas.

What You Can Do:

Call your Nevada Senator or Assembly member and indicate your concern about this bill. The hotline to contact your representatives in Carson City is (775) 684-3300 or email at

To express opposition or support for any bill, go to

For more information, contact Launce Rake at PLAN at (702) 791-1965.

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