Nevada Legislature: Compromise tax plan hearing Thursday

With less than two weeks left in the regular 2015 Nevada Legislative session, the compromise tax plan designed to balance the state budget could become public today, despite not getting a hearing until Thursday.

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office rolled out a version of the plan last week getting rid of the complicated 30-category Business License Fee ranging from $400 to $4 million a year that numerous businesses objected to.

In its place was a business license tax of up to $500 for corporations and $300 for all other businesses filing with the secretary of state and a higher Modified Business Tax. In addition, it includes a “commerce tax” levied on the revenues of Nevada’s larger businesses that allows those businesses to offset 50 percent of what they pay in MBT.

There still were objections from lobbyists and lawmakers, who argued part of that proposal looked too much like the gross receipts tax rejected by voters last November.

The vehicle for the new plan is apparently Assembly Bill 464 by Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson and Assemblyman Derek Armstrong, both R-Las Vegas.

The proposal will be presented Thursday at 3 p.m. in a joint session of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees.

It was supposed be rolled out Tuesday but those on the inside say details were still being worked out in an effort to get enough support in the Assembly to pass it by a two-thirds margin.

A number of business organizations including the Retail Association of Nevada want to put more emphasis on the existing Modified Business Tax and less on any tax that applies to gross revenue.

While several in the know say it will do that, they say some part of the plan must at least open the door to getting revenue from those Nevada and foreign businesses that currently pay little or nothing.

Whatever the plan does, it needs to generate some $500 million in order to balance the governor’s proposed $7.4 billion General Fund budget.


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