Our opinion: There’s gold in them thar Nevada mines | NevadaAppeal.com

Our opinion: There’s gold in them thar Nevada mines

The Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

It occurs to us that the recent revelations about Nevada’s mining companies may indicate an industry that perhaps could be paying more in taxes.

Unlike gaming, or business, in general, we’ve been hearing about how much money Nevada’s mines have been raking in.

And why not? What other resource can claim to have more than tripled in price in the past seven years.

Barrick Gold Corp. reported a revenue of $3.3 billion and an adjusted operating cash flow of $4.8 billion in 2010, according to its quarterly report.

We don’t want to just pick on Barrick, but the news that Nevada hasn’t properly audited Nevada’s mines in more than two years brought mining profits into the public spotlight.

Deductions for Barrick Gold Corp. reduce its taxable income from $2.7 billion to

$1 billion. According to the Associated Press, if Barrick’s taxation were based on gross instead of net income, it would face taxes on almost

$2 billion in 2011.

To put things in perspective, 1 percent of Barrick’s income would raise $20 million, which would put a big dent in Nevada’s higher education deficit.

We acknowledge there’s no appetite to raise taxes on any industry, even one that’s literally pulling money out of the ground.

In Nevada, there are two things we should know how to tax, gaming and mining. We should at least make sure we’re getting the money we’re supposed to out of the one that’s not experiencing hard times.