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Nevada Legislature: Gov. Sandoval’s tax plan to be heard Wednesday

Riley Snyder
Associated Press

Two months after announcing a plan to raise business license fees, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is preparing to make the case on his tax proposal on Wednesday in front of a joint legislative committee.

Sandoval’s testimony is headlining the Nevada Legislature’s seventh week, which includes hearings on bills dealing with payday loans, private personal information and financial literacy for middle school students.

A TAXING ENDEAVOR

All eyes will be on Gov. Brian Sandoval on Wednesday as the popular Republican governor prepares to testify on his business license tax bill, SB 252, in the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee. The Senate introduced the 200-page bill last week and voted to cancel all other afternoon hearings on Wednesday.

The proposal would change Nevada’s flat $200-per-year business license fee to a tiered system with rates ranging from $400 to $4 million a year. A company’s tax burden would be determined by its revenue and industry type, and sectors with a higher average profit margin will pay more.

Sandoval says the increase is necessary to invest in K-12 education throughout the state. The bill will need to win support from two-thirds of the Republican-controlled Senate and Assembly to become law.

Though most of the bill provisions have already been unveiled, the hearing will be the first public chance for legislators to question and vet the governor’s proposal.

PERSONAL MATTERS

A coalition of Assembly Democrats and Republicans are sponsoring a bill that would expand the definition of personal information to include email addresses and other identifying numbers.

AB 179 would require businesses that collect personal information to provide security measures guarding data that could be used for identity theft.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Monday in the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee.

PAYDAY LOANS

Republican Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson is sponsoring a bill that extends a number of restrictions and regulations to payday loan lenders.

Roberson said SB242, which adopts provisions recommended by the Community Financial Services Association of America, would help protect consumers from inflated interest rates and from piling on additional debt. The bill is scheduled for a hearing Monday in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee.

Senate Democrats have raised concerns about another bill affecting payday loans, SB 123, which would allow lenders to sue customers who default on high-interest loans. That bill is scheduled for a committee vote on Monday.

CHILD PROSTITUTION

Democratic Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle is sponsoring a bill that would add a penalty for people who solicit children for sex multiple times.

Current state law specifies that a person soliciting a child for prostitution is guilty of a Category E felony. AB214 would add fines and increase punishments for people convicted more than once of soliciting children for sex.

The bill also authorizes a limited portion of the state’s human trafficking fund to be used for fundraising. The proposal is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

FINANCE FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL

Lawmakers are planning to review a bill that would require middle school students learn about personal finance.

Democratic Sen. Joyce Woodhouse is the primary sponsor of SB220, which would require middle and junior high schools to learn about loans, financial institutions and insurance. The bill would require math classes to include financial literacy components.

Current Nevada law mandates that high school students receive instruction on financial literacy.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday in the Senate Education Committee.