Roberson campaign website: Repeal the payroll tax increase, repeal the vehicle registration increase

Victor Joecks

Then-candidate Michael Roberson in 2010.

If elected I would like to enact common sense legislation to ease the burden government places on our citizens. Some examples include:

Repeal the recent vehicle registration fee increases.
Times are tough. Many families are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. Last legislative session, the Legislature imposed massive car registration fee hikes – this tax hurts working families, and also decreases auto sales. If elected, I will work to repeal these regressive tax increases.

Repeal the payroll tax increase
In the 2009 session, the Legislature voted to double the payroll tax. This is not the way to deal with our budget problems. When businesses are faced with higher payroll taxes, they are less inclined to employ people. We must not hinder new job growth, and if elected, I will work to repeal the payroll tax increase while creating incentives for businesses to add more employees.

Now a senator and presumed leader of the Senate Republican Caucus, here’s Roberson earlier this week.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, voted against last year’s budget largely because of the extension of taxes that would have expired June 30, 2011. On Tuesday, Roberson said he would support the governor’s budget blueprint, tax extensions and all.

“I am cognizant that right now, that includes needing the revenue from the taxes due to sunset,” he told The Associated Press.

There’s no doubt this is a major blow for fiscal conservatives and the cause of limited government. For some perspective, read this July 2011 column by Glenn Cook praising Roberson and his potential to champion limited-government causes as head of the Republican Senate Caucus.

Michael Roberson is taking over for Bill Raggio. And Michael Roberson is no Bill Raggio. …

Roberson also set himself apart from his colleagues during the 2011 session by being unafraid to publicly challenge Democratic legislation, whether in committee meetings or on the Senate floor, while fighting for Republican bills, even if they had no chance of passing.

And the attorney stuck by his promise to oppose tax increases, voting against the compromise budget signed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. Roberson was the Senate’s most vocal advocate for Nevada businesses and its harshest critic of public-sector unions.

He’s eager to take that fight from the Legislative Building to the campaign trail.

Cook’s still right in that there are differences between Roberson and Raggio – though likely not in the way he meant. One clear difference is that Raggio got minor reforms in exchange for conceding on taxes at the end of the legislative session. Roberson acquiesced 10 months before the session even started and received nothing in exchange except for calls for even higher taxes.

Bonus video: In 2010, Sen. Kieckhefer promised not to vote to renew “sunset” taxes. He voted to renew the “sunset” taxes in 2011.