In 2011, a constitutional amendment was introduced in the Nevada Legislature. And somehow, it managed to pass that year despite the acrimony and frustration that came to define the 76th session.
Fast forward to 2013. Even though SJR 15 had managed to pass Round 1, Round 2 was suddenly in doubt. The mining industry had doubled up its lobbying campaign, and it looked like that was about to reap mining conglomerates a huge payday. But then, another strange twist occurred.
As soon as it became a rather eye-popping attempt at "Republican rebranding" and a "no brainer" tax reform plan with actual bipartisan support, Legislature leaders had no choice but to stand back and let SJR 15 sail its way onto the 2014 general election ballot.
Today, the Interim Legislative Commission approved the final ballot language for SJR 15. Despite some last minute mining industry shenanigans and an awkward argument over the physical impact of mining, the Commission ultimately approved the SJR 15 ballot language 11-1.
So now, there's just one more step left for SJR 15. "We the People" must vote on it this fall.
Ever since the founding of this state, the issue of mining taxation has been a rather contentious, irritating, and occasionally even nauseating one. In a way, it's quite fitting that the 150th anniversary of Nevada statehood will be remembered for the people's vote on fixing a long debated error in our state's Constitution. How better to celebrate 150 years of Nevada than to take one more step to on the path to a functioning state government and a more equitable tax system?