Court says Nevada legislature had no right to take water money

May 26, 2011
CARSON CITY, NV, May 26, 2011 -- The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that the Nevada legislature overstepped its constitutional bounds when it passed a law to take $62 million from the Clean Water Coalition and Clark County last year...

CARSON CITY, NV, May 26, 2011 -- The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that the Nevada legislature overstepped its constitutional bounds when it passed a law to take $62 million from the Clean Water Coalition and Clark County last year.

The Coalition, comprising Clark County Water Reclamation District and the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, collected money from county residents to build an $850 million pipeline that would convey treated wastewater to Lake Mead. In December 2009, a poor economy and sluggish growth rate lead to the suspension of the project.

In 2010, a special session of the state legislature passed a law requiring the Coalition to turn the money over to the state's general fund for unlimited use.

Justice James Hardesty, turning over a previous ruling, found that the legislature violated the state constitution, which prohibits enacting special laws for the assessment and collection of taxes.

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