Mining Association Executive Director Tim Crowley said Wednesday that industry provides far-reaching benefits to Nevada's economy over and above the roughly $60 million a year in net proceeds taxes miners pay the state.
He spoke Wednesday morning at the Northern Nevada Development Authority breakfast at the Gold Dust West.
He said miners are criticized as taking minerals out of Nevada, but that overlooks what they put into the state.
Crowley said there is the huge amount of money that must be invested in equipment to open a mine - all of which is taxed when purchased.
"We pay all the taxes paid by other businesses in the state plus the net proceeds," he said, adding that detractors who argue mining should pay more ignore that fact.
He said he understands mining will be in the spotlight if the 2011 Legislature winds up looking at tax and revenue increases.
"The primary hill to die for is getting away from industry specific taxes," said Crowley.
He said the gaming industry is in a similar situation, paying every tax other businesses pay in addition to the percentage fee.
Crowley said mining makes up just 3 percent of Nevada's economy but its impact extends beyond those taxes to the spending by its employees in Nevada. He said the roughly 12,000 people employed by Nevada's mines earn an average of $80,000 in salaries and benefits.
"We have a highly skilled workforce," he said.
In addition, he pointed to the numerous support industries operating because of mining.
The majority of what mining contributes comes from the gold mines he said generate "88 percent of the value we put into the economy."
After that, he said copper, silver, geothermal power and a variety of other products taken from the earth make up the rest of mining's production.
Crowley said there are a number of new mines coming on line as well as expansions of existing operations including a new molybdenum mine near Eureka that will employ about 450 people when it goes into production next year.
Article Topics: Legislature: PERSLegislature: PERS