Gov. Jim Gibbons today signed the official proclamation calling for a special session of the Legislature to address the budget shortfall. He also presented his proposal for fixing the $880 million deficit, which includes increasing taxes on the mining industry by $25 million a year, contracting with a private company to catch insurance scofflaws and collecting sales taxes from Nevada online businesses that sell products in the state.
Gibbons' plan to extract more money from the mining industry calls for capping the amount of deductions mining companies can take from their property tax. The details haven't been worked out and the increase isn't on the proclamation.
But Gibbons, and his staff, flatly deny that requiring the mining industry to pay more in property taxes is a violation of his promise not to increase taxes. [...]
The clarification in deductions will result in the mining industry paying $50 million in more taxes over the next two years, according to Gibbons' plan. [...]
The governor's staff has been in talks with the mining industry, which has indicated it would be willing to be part of the budget deficit solution. But Gibbons' deputy chief of staff Lynn Hettrick said today that industry leaders want a broad-based tax that all businesses take part in. They have not agreed to the change in deductions, Hettrick said.
Now of course, this is small change compared to how much mining makes. But obviously, even Gibbons now realizes that a "cuts only" budget is completely impossible. Even Jon Ralston is calling BS on the "no new taxes" crap.
Everyone seems angry at Gibbons' proposed cuts. That much is obvious. No one wants to see schools close, roads crumble, and the elderly and disabled left out in the cold to die with no help. So why aren't more legislators proposing what's needed?
Oh, they "have no interest" in voting for a realistic budget solution that spares our most vulnerable citizens from even more pain and suffering. Seriously, this must end. And hopefully once the special session starts and legislators realize that "no new taxes" is a lie and even Jimbo Gibbons is wiggling his way out of this radical right frat pledge, they'll realize that their colleague Peggy Pierce is right.
So now, the question is: What will the legislators do to ensure that the tax burden is distributed more fairly and that this budget isn't balanced exclusively on the backs of the working poor and middle class?