Panel Adopts Rules To Collect New Taxes

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Rules to ensure collection of part of the bank and business-related taxes in a record $836 million revenue plan passed by Nevada lawmakers this summer were adopted Monday by a state panel.

The state Tax Commission adopted permanent rules governing excise taxes paid by bank branches - $1,750 quarterly for each branch office - and adopted emergency rules defining the types of companies that must pay the state's new $100-a-year business license fee. They'll take effect once signed by Gov. Kenny Guinn.

Together, the levies are expected to generate just over $50 million during the current two-year budget cycle that will end in June 2005. Most of the revenue comes from the business license fees.

"We thought defining a business would be very easy," Tax Commission Chairwoman Barbara Smith Campbell said in describing the work involved in getting the emergency rule drafted. "If we're not there, we're pretty close to being there."

Campbell said additional public comment will be sought prior to final adoption of the rule on the business license fees. That action is expected in about four months. But in the interim, the levy already is being collected. The law took effect July 22, after a drawn-out legislative battle.

Besides the bank franchise fee and the business license fee, the tax plan includes a new payroll tax and real estate transfer levy that account for more than half of the new state revenues.

Other elements include higher alcohol, cigarette and casino levies, a live entertainment tax and higher fees collected by the secretary of state. The entire tax package was designed to erase a shortfall in the state's nearly $5 billion, two-year budget.

Wording for the various rules needed to collect the new taxes and fees is being developed in Taxation Department workshops. Many workshops already have been held, and more are scheduled for later this month and November.


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