Activists: Voters should decide on mining industry's tax protections

The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada on Thursday called on lawmakers to end the mining industry's state constitutional protection from taxes paid by other businesses.

Under Nevada's constitution, mining is subject to the Net Proceeds of Mines - a property tax on the value of minerals extracted from the ground. That provision caps what mines must pay at 5 percent before deductions and effectively insulates the industry from higher taxes that organizations including PLAN believe it should pay.

The group demonstrated Thursday outside the Legislative Building to ask lawmakers to pass Senate Joint Resolution 15, which would ask voters to decide whether mining should continue to have a specific protection from further taxation in the state constitution.

"The people of Nevada should decide how their industries are taxed, not the industries themselves," said Laura Martin, PLAN communications director. "Why should they get that protection?"

Martin said the ballot question wouldn't increase taxes on mining; it would just put mining on the same level as every other business in the state.

SJR15 was introduced in the 2011 Legislature and approved on a party-line vote by both houses. If approved again this session, it will go to a vote of the people at the next general election for a final decision.


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