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October 1, 2014

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Brian Sandoval officially declares candidacy, won’t sign tax pledge

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Brian Sandoval

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CARSON CITY – Brian Sandoval, who officially became a GOP candidate for governor on Monday, said he was against imposing a new tax on miners but added that if elected he would look at taxing brothels.

Sandoval, 46, told a news conference he wouldn't sign a no-new-tax pledge, saying it's “not a good idea.” Sandoval formally filed his declaration of candidacy with the Secretary of State's Office.

He declined to be specific how, if elected, he might handle the potential $3 billion to $5 billion shortfall in 2011. For now, as a quick way to raise cash, he had suggested the sale of state buildings and then leasing them back. Both Gov. Jim Gibbons and the Legislature rejected that idea.

The Legislature, with Gibbons agreeing, imposed a tax on each mining claim ranging from $70 to $195 depending on how many claims the company or individual owns. That tax expires in June 2011 unless renewed by the Legislature.

Sandoval, who served two terms in the Assembly, said he would favor annual sessions of the Legislature but limited to 60 days because of the growth of the state and the complex financial problems.

The Legislature is limited to 120-day meetings every two years with special sessions being called by the governor. There have been four special sessions since 2007.

Sandoval says he supported the law that allowed gay couples to become domestic partners but opposes marriage of same-sex individuals. He supports the death penalty in “appropriate cases.”

On water issues, Sandoval said he supports the process involving the Southern Nevada Water Authority to draw water from rural Nevada. The Supreme Court has ordered the district court to decide whether the state engineer should order the authority to file new applications or allow protests to be filed against the old applications.

“I want the process to continue,” he said, declining to say whether he favored the water authority piping water from rural Nevada to populous Las Vegas.

The special session of the Legislature grappled with the problem but no bill was produced. State water officials say 14,000 water permits are in jeopardy because of the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Sandoval and Gibbons are the two main opponents for the Republican nomination in the primary election June 8.

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