Lawmakers approve money so taxation can get ready for new taxes

A committee on Tuesday approved $3.1 million so the Department of Taxation can get ready to collect new taxes the state needs to balance the budget.

But Taxation Director Chuck Chinnock was unable to give many specifics on how the money will be used, because lawmakers haven't decided which taxes to impose.

"Certainly we can understand the difficulty in trying to put something together when there isn't a tax plan," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, a member of the state's Interim Finance Committee, which makes fiscal decisions when the Legislature is not in session.

Chinnock said his department needs the money to get started, not only on implementing cigarette and liquor taxes which everyone expects to be part of the package, but potential taxes such as a universal business tax, payroll tax or gross-receipts tax. He told lawmakers his department can't wait until the taxes take effect to begin planning how to implement and collect them.

"We do stand ready to begin the complex process of tax change," he said.

The plan includes allowing him to hire up to 45 employees, including a project manager and technicians, to develop plans for the new computer system that will be needed for taxation, no matter what tax package is finally approved.

Raggio moved to appropriate $3,129,000, subject to adjustment according to whatever tax plan is developed during the special session that began this morning.

The total cost of implementing the new tax system, including a new computer system, is expected to be $27.1 million over the next three years.


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