Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What a Day This Has Been

Whoa, what a day this has been! SJR 15 not only got a(nother) hearing today, but it also passed out the Senate Revenue & Economic Development Committee unanimously! Oh yes, that's right. Ruben Kihuen (D-Las Vegas), David Parks (D-Paradise), Michael Roberson (R-Henderson), Mo Denis (D-North Las Vegas), Greg Brower (R-Reno), Debbie Smith (D-Sparks), and Ben Kieckhefer (R-Reno) all voted for SJR 15!

So how did it happen? For one, the mining representatives did a great job... Of making the case for mining tax reform!

As you can see above, Brower & Roberson were quite irritated with the "non-answer answers" coming from the mining industry's mouthpieces representatives testifying today. They wouldn't answer on how much their clients actually pay. They wouldn't answer on whether they'd sue for lower taxes if SJR 15 passes. They wouldn't even answer on what their official position is on SJR 15!

And in case that wasn't potent enough, Democratic & progressive activist Marla Turner testified today. Not only does she have her own amazing reputation, but she's also the stepdaughter of the late Assembly Member Marvin Sedway. In 1989, he railed against the many bailouts the mining industry enjoyed at the time. Marla was there to remind legislators of what actually happened in 1989... And why it matters in 2013.

In 1989, the mining industry agreed to SJR 22, the constitutional amendment that set up the current tax scheme. It did so only to fend off much more sweeping tax reform, such as a new extraction tax. While mining lobbyists do a song & dance routine on how little much their clients pay and what SJR 15 supposedly will do, they wouldn't be so fearful of SJR 15 if they didn't think it would undo the worst parts of the SJR 22 deal in 1989... The one that Steve Wynn (??!!) warned the Nevada Legislature of that year.

By the way, Roberson cited that very speech from Wynn at the hearing today.

Don't be mistaken. What happened today was truly historic. For perhaps the first time ever, the Nevada Legislature may finally stand up to the mining industry and impose fairer taxation! Democratic & Republican legislators are leading the charge on this. And Governor Sandoval is increasingly being boxed into a corner on this.

Oh, what a day this has been.

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