After decades-long fight, Nevada lawmakers raise mining tax

Politics

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada lawmakers voted on Monday to raise taxes on the mining industry.

The tax proposal was a byproduct of drawn-out negotiations between lawmakers, mining lobbyists and the state’s largest teacher’s union. The tax will effectively double the amount of taxes imposed on silver and gold mines.

It will generate roughly $85 million in tax revenue annually, most of which will be required to go toward education.

The historic tax increase culminates decades of efforts to raise taxes on one of the state’s most powerful industries and prevents tax increase measures from advancing to the 2022 ballot.

Tyre Gray, president of the Nevada Mining Association, released a statement following the bill’s passage:

The passage of AB495 is the accumulation of Nevadans coming together and finding solutions to complex problems. As a result of months of discussion, we have found middle ground that protects the careers of 37,000 Nevadans and creates the Mining Education Fund, which will benefit our K-12 students for generations.

There are many people to thank for making AB495 a reality. Governor Sisolak, legislative leadership including Speaker Frierson, along with their staffs brought a wide-ranging coalition of stakeholders together in a bipartisan effort to ensure bill passage. The Clark County Education Association worked alongside us to find a resolution that will bring the state much closer to the national average of per-pupil funding and change the narrative surrounding mining from “fair share” to “partners.”

Finally, I would like to thank the thousands of people who stepped up over the last ten months as a part of the NVMA’s grassroots efforts. They gave mining a voice in Carson City that the industry has never had before. In addition to sending over 29,000 emails to legislators, they voted in overwhelming opposition to the joint resolutions on the Nevada Legislature’s polling page. In short, AB495 would not be possible without them.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.” AB495 encapsulates what is possible when we stop worrying about north or south, urban or rural, teacher or miner, and remember our commonalities.

We are all Nevadans, and we are better when we work together.”

Tyre L. Gray, Esq., Nevada Mining Association president

The Clark County Education Association (CCEA) issued a statement Tuesday morning.

CCEA President Marie Neisess called the passage of AB495 “a huge win for our students, educators and the community.” The full statement appears below:

The Clark County Education Association went into Nevada’s 81st Legislative Session with one mission in mind, to raise additional revenue dedicated to funding Nevada’s K-12 education system.

Throughout the entire session, CCEA worked collaboratively with the Gaming and Mining industries, legislative leadership in both houses and Governor Sisolak, in a bipartisan fashion, to find a new revenue stream committed to funding the Pupil Centered Funding Plan (PCFP). With only hours left in the session, Assembly Bill 495 was introduced and passed by both houses, bringing the mining education fund to life. Making the biggest investment in education in Nevada’s history.

Assembly Bill 495 puts in place a new tiered tax structure specific to larger mining companies and sends the state’s portion of mining tax to fund public education. This new tax combined with moving existing net proceeds from the general fund, sends more than $300 million to our K-12 education system. This bill also sends $200 million from the state’s allocated American Rescue Plan funds to the Department of Education for grants that support programs to compensate for learning loss during the pandemic.

“This is a huge win for our students, educators and the community,” said CCEA President, Marie Neisess. “Funding education is the first step in diversifying Nevada’s economy and preparing our students for the workforce. Passing AB495 was a great place to start.”

CCEA appreciates the collaboration with both the mining and gaming industries, legislative leadership and Governor Sisolak to bring this funding to our students. It was a historic moment in time, but there’s still more to be done.

Accordingly, CCEA will be withdrawing its gaming tax initiative petition and will now concentrate on electing pro education and pro job legislators in the 2022 election cycle.

“Our economy needs to diversify and investing in the K-12 education system will improve our workforce so that new industries can relocate to Nevada and help create jobs our state needs,” said John Vellardita, Executive Director of CCEA.”

Clark County Education Association

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