Is mining paying its fair share in the state of Nevada?
Barrick Gold’s Ruby Hill mine is in Eureka County. Gold is selling for about $1,600 per ounce. (Photo provided by Deon Reynolds)
The claim is often made that Nevada’s mining industry isn’t paying enough in taxes.
Toward that end, a bill before the Legislature called Senate Joint Resolution 15 is up for debate again. It would remove from the state’s constitution a provision creating a separate tax on mining.
It passed last session and could pass again this time, in which case Nevada voters would then be asked in 2014 to decide the issue for good.
Poll: On mining taxes, Which side do you think makes the most persuasive argument?
In the legislature: Click here to tell Nevada lawmakers which way you think they should vote on SJR15, the mining tax proposal.
(Select SJR15 in the field "Select Bill.")
Bob Fulkerson of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada — which supports the bill — said, “I think the only industry that is allowed special tax loopholes in the constitution is the mining industry so they’ve been shielded from paying their fair share of taxes to pay for decent schools, health care and infrastructure.
would remove them from the constitution so they could be treated like any other industry.”
He said that although the bill would not affect mining taxes one way or the other — it would just free legislators to change how the industry is taxed — he hopes it leads to an increase in mining’s taxes to correct what he sees as decades of underpayment.
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Not surprisingly, Tim Crowley of the Nevada Mining Association disagrees.
“We think we’re paying a tremendous amount,” he said.
Below is a look at three arguments in the Nevada mining debate, with both sides presented in hopes of helping you — the resident and taxpayer — decide who you think is right.
Taxes on gold mining
compared by state
A 2009 report by UNR associated professor of economics John Dobra took a hypothetical but typical gold mine in Nevada and looked at how much it would be taxed in each of 10 Western states, for overall taxes including property and sales, as well as for just mining taxes.Source: blogs.rgj.com