Democrats introduce tax overhaul measures
The Associated Press
Nevada Democrats rolled out two bills Wednesday that would overhaul the state’s tax structure by imposing fees on services and business revenues.
Assembly lawmakers introduced AB569, which would impose a 1 percent transaction fee on services purchased by a consumer. The tax would not apply to day care, health care, funeral services, utilities, Internet and waste collection. The measure would take effect in January.
Senate lawmakers introduced an amendment to SB491 that would implement a margin tax on businesses.
The bill would extend for a year about $700 million in taxes passed by lawmakers in 2009 that are set to expire June 30. The margin tax amendment would tax gross business revenues at 0.8 percent after the first $1 million, which would be exempt.
Democrats say the amendment would allow the state’s modified business tax – based on employee wages – to be phased out.
Both bills face challenges as each requires a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and Assembly. Democrats lack the votes needed for passage. Also, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has said he’ll veto any bill that contains a tax or fee increase.
Democrats argue the Sandoval’s $6 billion two-year spending plan will gut K-12 and higher education and cut services to the state’s most needy residents.
Their tax package proposal would bring in about $1.2 billion combined.
Sandoval last week proposed adding nearly $270 million to the budget, with most going to K-12, based on a brighter tax forecast for the coming biennium.
Democrats want to restore $920 million to the governor’s recommend general fund budget.
On Tuesday, the Senate and Assembly, on party line votes, approved $2.8 billion of general funds for public schools. Lawmakers rejected plans to sweep $247 million from construction bond debt reserves, cut teacher pay 5 percent, freeze raises based on advanced degrees and decrease state per-pupil spending.
The Senate Committee on Revenue has hearings scheduled on SB491 today, Friday and Saturday.