Mining tax plan ups stakes in Nevada Legislature’s last days

Nevada Legislature
Nevada Legislature(Gurajpal Sangha)
Updated: May. 30, 2021 at 11:51 AM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada lawmakers introduced a proposal late Saturday to impose additional taxes on the mining industry with only two full days remaining before they are scheduled to adjourn on May 31.

The industry-backed proposal would keep the current net proceeds structure intact and add a tax on large mines based on gross revenue.

It would generate an estimated $170 million every two years.

If it receives two-thirds support in both the state Senate and Assembly, its passage will mark the culmination of years of efforts from Democrats to collect more dollars from the multibillion-dollar industry, primarily to bolster education.

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Laura Martin, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) issued this statement:

“Today we heard the news that a deal has been reached in Carson City that will at long last have the mining industry paying what they owe to this state. While we maintain that AJR1** would have been the ideal solution for raising revenue this session, this deal is a strong start to addressing the privileged position mining has held in Nevada’s tax code until now. The deal would add additional revenue to the Nevada public education system through a tax on gross mining revenue, with no sunsets. This gross tax will prevent mining companies from abusing generous deductions to get out of paying taxes like everybody else. After the American Rescue Plan funding is spent, we need to be sure we have a long-term solution to chronic education funding problems and build into the future with sustainable sources of revenue.

While we will continue to push for what Nevadans truly deserve, this proposal will address the needs of the people in a meaningful way and allow our state the funding needed to maintain and build on critical public services immediately. Our priority has been passing long-term revenue reform, such as AJR1**, a community-supported resolution that would achieve just that by removing the constitutional sweetheart deals that mining has had for decades. We can’t expect to fund future students, teachers, and healthcare by cutting their budgets while protecting the profits of corporations like mining and gaming.

We want to make clear that this deal wouldn’t have been possible without the research, advocacy, and community organizing PLAN has done for decades to build awareness around revenue and funding, and the imbalance of power between corporations and people, making Nevadans the 5th most unfairly taxed people in the country. For over 20 years, up to and including this legislative session, PLAN has run a people-focused campaign to move the needle and make sure mining would pay its fair share, mobilizing thousands of activists who called, emailed, wrote op-eds, and testified that mining needed to pay what they owe to Nevadans.

We thank our partners who have joined us in these efforts, who mobilized their own volunteers, members, and leaders to take action and contact their legislators about the urgent need to tax mining. We look forward to this legislation moving forward in the next two days and will work to hold legislators and the mining industry accountable for ensuring this money is collected and spent appropriately on funding public education.”

Nevada Mining Association President Tyre L. Gray issued this statement:

“Today, the Nevada State Legislature introduced a compromise mining tax bill, intended to replace the three joint resolutions passed during last summer’s Special Sessions. The bill seeks to increase mining’s contributions to the state by over 100% and comes after deliberative conversation between Governor Sisolak, legislative leadership, and mining. Unlike other recent revenue sources, these dollars will go entirely to education, while also ensuring that Nevadans remain employed, rural counties remain funded, and mining operations remain viable.”