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January 28, 2015

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Damon Political Report

Mining industry offers cash to state to ditch effort to eliminate deductions for sales tax and health insurance

Sun Coverage

In a last ditch effort to keep lawmakers from eliminating some of the industry’s priciest tax deductions, a handful of the state’s largest mining companies are offering to make a one-time cash payment to the state.

In a budget deal reached between legislative leaders and Gov. Brian Sandoval, the mining industry would be on the hook for about $23 million in additional net proceeds taxes to the state and $23 million to counties with mining operations.

To raise that revenue, a bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, would eliminate a slew of questionable deductions the mining industry has been taking.

Mining lobbyists, however, oppose Horsford’s effort to eliminate deductions for medical insurance and sales tax—which would cost them about $12 million a year.

Instead, a handful of large mining companies, including Barrick and Newmont, are offering to make a one-time cash payment to the state of about a $12 million.

Legislative lawyers, however, cautioned lawmakers that such a move is not legally possible.

Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said he is willing to discuss the offer, but won’t scuttle the budget deal—which relies on the mining revenue—if Horsford rejects the offer.

It’s unlikely Horsford, who has spent the session fighting for clarification on mining industry deductions, would give on his legislation.

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  1. How is this cash offer different than a bribe?
    I used to think the politicians in the east were corrupt and without morals, but since coming here I see I am mistaken. They do stuff here, that would never even be thought of back east.

  2. Remove the special interest protections from the state constitution and tax mining like everyone else!

    If I have to cry when I pay my taxes, everyone should cry the same. No more, no less. That's all I ask.

  3. $46 million is about 1% of their Gross Income. When has a wage slave ever paid just 1% of their gross income in taxes, including Property Tax?

    Even with a 1% - $46 million/year tax payment, they are renting the mining land for almost nothing. They should be paying 5% MINIMUM...or go somewhere else.

  4. Averaging in the past 4 years of non-payments, they are probably paying only about 1/4% of their gross receipts. No shared gains, no shared sacrifice.

  5. MINING'S proposal is an absolute JOKE and INSULT to the People of NEVADA!

    Let's change the Nevada Constitution, to fix these archaic laws that were written over 100 years ago that no longer fit modern times, nor the changes that have happened over that time with Nevada's population growth!

    Mining has paid a pittance, and prospered on the backs and goodwill of the Citizens of Nevada for over a century with MINING foreign and out of state owners exploiting Nevada's precious and semi-precious metals and minerals.

    There is something terribly wrong in the MINING INDUSTRY'S offer, one which dangles cash in front of a hungry and hurting state for a lousy deal--just another exploitation.

    MINING is one of the reasons we are in this budget mess---if they had been paying their fair share over the past 100 years, our state would be the envy of all the USA! SHAME SHAME SHAME

    At the very least, MINING should be paying at least an average amount of what they are paying in the other 49 states. That would be FAIR. The good People of Nevada deserve nothing less!

  6. Time for mining to pay its fair share . . . no more crumbs. Come to the table and pass the whole loaf of bread, BILLIONAIRES!

  7. As many have stated here it is time for the Mining Industry to pay their fair share. It would be interesting to know what politicians are in favor of accepting the $23 million.