LAS VEGAS -- State lawmakers have realized their math is off, and they have a $73 million budget hole to fill.
That is because their first estimate on how much taxes Nevada mines would pay was wrong. The state of Nevada projected it would get $93 million in tax revenue from mining.
Instead, it is getting $20 million. Now, the state has to figure out what to cut to balance the budget.
Mining companies pay what is called a net proceeds tax on minerals they take out of the ground, which is in addition to payroll, property and sales taxes.
However, mining companies say with the price of gold going down, the amount they pay in taxes will also go down.
"Mining in Nevada is having to go deeper, costs are going up as consumables, diesel are going up, drives the cost up," Nevada Mining Association President Tim Crowley said.
Last May, the Nevada Department of Taxation made its original estimate on how much mining money the state would get.
The governor's office says the money the state lost is a large number but it is a relatively small part of the $6 billion state budget.
As comparatively small as it is, $73 million is big money when it comes to state programs, which are currently in need of more money, like programs for the mentally ill.
The Economic Forum's experts plan to come up with a solution in their next meeting June 3.
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