Lawmakers in Nevada approve measures that would change mining tax laws

August 3, 2020

Lawmakers in Nevada approved three resolutions that propose changing how the state taxes the mining industry.

The resolutions, which look to change the provisions in the state constitution that caps the amount of taxes that can be levied on the mining industry and require two-thirds majorities in the legislature to raise taxes will go back to lawmakers for a confirmation vote in the 2021 session.

If approved then, one or more of the measures would go before voters in 2022 the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

Initial Senate and Assembly proposals, Senate Joint Resolution 1 and Assembly Joint Resolution 1, would remove the constitutionally prescribed 5 percent tax cap on net proceeds of minerals and replace it with a 7.75 percent tax on mining’s gross proceeds. The difference, based on 2019 industry revenues and tax collections, could be an additional $350 million in revenue annually.

Both of those proposals would sweep in revenue from the tax that now goes to counties where the mines are located, with the Assembly version allocating a portion to education and healthcare.

A third proposal, Assembly Joint Resolution 2, would set the net mining tax at the local property tax rate, capped at no more than 12 percent. Assembly Joint Resolution 2 was crafted with input from mining interests, whose representatives testified as neutral on the measure in both houses.

The Senate approved SJR 1 in a 13-8 party line vote. Its vote on AJR1 reflected the same partisan split. But AJR2 was approved 14-7, with Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, opting for it, saying he anticipated more conversation on the proposal in the legislature next year.

“I think realistically mining is going to be under the microscope of how much they’re going to pay and how much the constituents that we have are going to require of them,” Hardy said, explaining his vote. “I think this also gives people an opportunity to look at something that may not be as egregious as some of the other things that they may end up voting on, so I will be voting yes on this.”

 

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