Senate passes bill to take mining tax, governmental services tax |

Senate passes bill to take mining tax, governmental services tax

Late Wednesday, the  Nevada Senate passed the bill that will pump money into the General Fund by pre-paying the Net Proceeds of Mines tax, taking a huge chunk of the Governmental Services Tax and granting an amnesty if delinquent taxpayers pay up.

Senators approved an amendment to the original version of Senate Bill 3 that takes 100 percent of that portion of the Governmental Services Tax instead of just 50 percent the governor called for. That was up from the 25 percent the General Fund currently takes. But Senators were told the department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles and Nevada Highway Patrol all said they could absorb the reductions for a year or so.

Altogether, the GST will now divert more than $70 million to the General Fund this fiscal year.

The amendment also specifies that only portion of the Net Proceeds of Minerals Tax that go to the General Fund be taken. The portions that go to local governments — especially rural governments — and school districts remain with those entities.

The bill passed 19-2 out of the Senate with Senators Ira Hansen of Sparks and Joe Hardy of Boulder City opposed.

SB3 is one of three measures that must pass to actually cut the budget enough to cover the $1.2 billion estimated shortfall this fiscal year.

It goes to the Assembly Thursday.