Committee approves mining tax changes |

Committee approves mining tax changes

The Senate Revenue Committee Friday approved two proposals aimed at dismantling mining’s special status in state tax law.

Senate Judicial Resolution 15 would repeal the Nevada Constitution’s provision establishing a separate tax rate for mines and barring imposition of real, personal and other property taxes on them.

Before the constitution actually changes as proposed in the resolution, it must pass the Legislature in two consecutive sessions and then be approved by a vote of the people of Nevada.

In addition, the committee amended and voted to recommend passage of Senate Bill 493 establishing the Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission.

That seven-member panel appointed by the governor and legislative leadership would have power to oversee mining issues before the tax commission, department of industrial relations, commission on mineral resources, bureau of mines and the division of environmental protection.

Under the amendment proposed by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, the bill would also sharply limit the deductions mines can take against the net proceeds of mines tax they currently pay.

He said that includes not allowing deductions for federal, state and local taxes including sales taxes.

Horsford has complained repeatedly that miners have been taking deductions they aren’t legally entitled to but the mines say they are entitled to those deductions and that they were approved by the tax commission.

Both the bill and the resolution were approved four to one with Republican Minority Leader Mike McGinness of Fallon, the only GOP member present, opposed. Both now head for the Senate floor Monday.