RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Chris Kazmierczak is one of 17,000,000 Americans who uses a C-PAP machine when he goes to bed at night.
“It is great, it will change your life. The sleep and the rest you get, far outweighs how cumbersome the mask and machine is. Because we all take sleep for granted until we don't get any of it,” says Kzamierczak.
CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure” and is designed to keep those airways open when a patient sleeps. But some think the sales tax paid on that C-PAP machine and the mask are too umbersome for patients like Chris to bear.
Question 4 on Nevada's Statewide Ballot asks:
"Shall Article 10 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require the Legislature to provide by law for the exemption of durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed for use by a licensed health care provider from any tax upon the sale, storage, use, or consumption of tangible personal property?"
This is the second time this question has been put on the ballot. That's because it changes Nevada's Constitution. Two years ago the measure passed by 71% of the voters.
“We had to go to the people because, like I said, it is affecting more and more of us. More of us need to be tax-exempt than ever before because people have to buy their own equipment,” says Robin Nyberg with C-PAP & More.
While the ballot question asks the voter if sales tax should be lifted off prescribed medical devices, we don't know specifically what medical devices will face sales tax exemption. That's because the way the constitutional change is written, it directs lawmakers to make those decisions if and when Question 4 passes.
And it is for that reason, Nevada's Department of Taxation cannot determine how much this exemption means to Nevada coffers.
Items like C-PAP machines and masks, oxygen machines, and tubing may or may not be included in the final list. We do know that state sales tax goes to local schools, and that portion of money from medical devices will go away if Question 4 passes.
While Nyberg says currently the tax money generated by medical devices is insignificant to the total state budget at this time, those who oppose Question 4 may say as our population ages, those tax dollars could add up.
While the Nevada Department of Taxation cannot determine the loss of state revenues if Question 4 passes, it does say if approved by the voters, the constitutional amendment will not cost additional funds to implement.