Welcome to the Tuesday, March 23, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Nevada voters to decide tax measures in 2022
- Louisiana special election results
- House Administration Committee to consider IA-02 results challenge
Nevada voters to decide tax measures in 2022
So far, 10 statewide ballot measures have been certified for the 2022 ballot in eight states. How does that compare to the number certified at this point in previous election cycles?
Between 2013 and 2021, the average number of measures certified by March 22 in odd-number years for the next year’s ballot was 11.6.
Our newsletter State Ballot Measure Monthly tracks ballot measure certifications and news. Each edition shows the measures certified in the month of the report. Click here to subscribe.
Now, let’s take a look at two of the 10 measures currently certified for the 2022 ballot—both in Nevada. One would increase the tax on gaming facilities‘ monthly revenue above $250,000. The other would increase a sales tax that goes to public schools.
Here’s a rundown of each measure:
Currently, the Nevada Gaming Commission collects a tax on monthly gross revenue from nonrestricted licensed gaming facilities. There are three tiers:
- 3.5% on gross revenue up to $50,000 per month,
- 4.5% on gross revenue above $50,000 up to $134,000 per month, and
- 6.75% on gross revenue above $134,000.
This measure would add another tier for gross revenue above $250,000 at a rate of 9.75%.
In 2019, the gross gaming tax generated $783.5 million in revenue for Nevada. The Nevada Gaming Control Board estimated the additional tax would have generated another $317.6 million had it been in effect in 2019.
Local School Support Tax
Currently, Nevada’s Local School Support Tax—a sales tax—is 2.25%. An additional 0.35% sales and use tax was imposed in 2015. The total Local School Support sales and use tax rate is 2.6%.
This measure would increase the state’s Local School Support Tax 1.5 percentage points from 2.25% to 3.75%. The initiative would increase Nevada’s combined statewide sales tax to a range of 8.35% to 9.875%.
The committees sponsoring the two tax initiatives have received all their funding from the Clark County Education Association.
Campaigns surpassed the 97,598 valid signatures required for each measure. The initiatives then went to the state legislature. In Nevada, the legislature has 40 days from the start of the session to act on what are known as indirect initiatives. The legislature did not enact the measures by the March 12 deadline, which sent them to the ballot in November 2022.
Louisiana special election results
As regular Brew readers know, two special congressional elections occurred on Saturday—March 20—in Louisiana. These were the first special elections of the 117th Congress. ICYMI, here’s what happened:
- In Louisiana’s 2nd District, none of the 15 candidates received more than 50% of the vote. Troy Carter (D) and Karen Peterson (D) were the top two vote recipients, and they head to a runoff election on April 24. Carter received 36% of the vote and Peterson received 23%. Gary Chambers (D) was third with 21%. The previous 2nd District incumbent was Democrat Cedric Richmond.
- In Louisiana’s 5th District, Julia Letlow (R) won the election outright with 65% of the vote. Candy Christophe (D) was second with 27%. Twelve candidates ran. Letlow’s husband, Luke Letlow, won the 5th District election in November and died in December before being sworn into office. The previous incumbent was Ralph Abraham (R).
No partisan changes will take place as a result of these special elections. Looking back at special elections to the House since the 113th Congress, the highest number of partisan changes—three—occurred during the 115th Congress in 2017 and 2018. That included two seats in Pennsylvania that Democrats won after court-ordered redistricting.
Ballotpedia covered other special elections in Louisiana that voters will decide in runoffs on April 24:
- Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education District 4: Cassie Williams (D) received 29% to Michael Melerine’s (R) 28%. Tony Davis (R) previously held the seat.
- Louisiana 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal 1st District: Marcus Hunter (D) and J. Garland Smith (D) advanced to a runoff with 44% and 32% of the vote, respectively. Judge Felicia Toney Williams (D) last held the seat.
- Louisiana House of Representatives District 82: Edwin Connick (R) received 40% and Laurie Schlegel (R) received 36%. The most recent incumbent was Charles Henry (R).
Three other special elections so far are scheduled for the 117th Congress: Texas’ 6th District on May 1, New Mexico’s 1st District on June 1, and Ohio’s 11th District primary on Aug. 3.
House Administration Committee to consider IA-02 results challenge
The House Administration Committee voted on March 10 to consider Rita Hart’s (D) challenge of last November’s election results in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Certified results showed Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) defeated Hart by six votes. The committee tabled Miller-Meeks’ motion to dismiss Hart’s appeal. The decision will allow Hart to present evidence in support of her petition to the committee, which will then present a full report to the House recommending who should take the seat.
After the decision to move forward with the investigation was announced, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said that Democrats are “literally trying to overturn a state-certified election here in Congress.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) said, “It’s an election of six votes out of 400,000 votes cast. This is not unique. This has happened maybe when you were in the Capitol before, when races have been close one side or the other saying, ‘Let’s take it to the house.’” Some Democrats, such as Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips (D), said overturning the results would be a mistake. “Overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America. Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should,” Phillips said.
Last year’s general election in Iowa’s 2nd District had the narrowest margin of victory in a U.S. House race since 1984. That year, Francis McCloskey (D) defeated Richard McIntyre (R) by four votes in Indiana’s 8th Congressional District.
Hart’s and Miller-Meeks’ lawyers have until March 29 to provide written answers to a series of questions from the committee. If the committee recommends the matter to the full House, the chamber will decide the outcome by a majority vote as provided for in Article I, Section 5, of the U.S. Constitution. Click the link below for a full timeline of events leading up to this.
The House Administration Committee has dismissed most contested election cases that come before it. According to a 2016 Congressional Research Service report, out of 107 contested election cases filed between 1933 and 2009, the candidate who contested the election won three times.