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April 26, 2015

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Mining rep: Republican effort to tax us is punitive

A Republican proposal to ask voters to increase taxes on gold and silver mining operations is a punitive attempt to "inflict pain" on the industry, Nevada Mining Association president Tim Crowley said today in an interview taped for the political talk show "To the Point."

In some of his most pointed comments since Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson announced plans to seek a mining tax increase, Crowley accused the cadre or Republicans of "ulterior motives."

"We found that people that spring tax plans on various segments of the economy, whether it's mining or any other segment, if they do it in a way that is aggressive like that, that their motives tend to be not just to work with the industry and generate more money, it's to be punitive and to damage that industry," Crowley said. "So that was our first reaction: that it was something meant with ulterior motives to actually inflict pain."

On Tuesday, Roberson and five of his Republican colleagues said they would seek to repeal mining's constitutional tax provisions and ask voters to approve a second ballot initiative to change the way the industry is taxed. Roberson presented the mining tax idea as a way to kill the margins tax ballot initiative supported by the teachers union that will likely be placed on the 2014 ballot.

During a press conference Tuesday, Roberson said he intends to work with his friends in the mining industry to develop a fair method of taxing gold that would result in more revenue for Nevada schools. He denied the move was punitive.

"We support the mining industry," Roberson said. "We are glad they are here. We want them to be profitable and productive, but we also want to look at the mining industry and how they generate revenue for the state compared to how we generate revenue from the gaming industry."

Crowley's full interview will air on Channel 3 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

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  1. Lawmakers are always more willing to inflict pain on industry rather than cut wasteful spending. The increased funding of a failing education system is like feeding a dead horse - pure waste to buy votes (and power). The best solution is to turn education back to the parents and the communities.

  2. Mr. Crowley, your industry has enjoyed decades of "favored son" protection in the state Constitution. Effectively, the state named you favorite and guaranteed your rate of taxes would never increase the Constitutional cap.

    Your industry no longer deserves this favoritism. Likewise, your industry does not deserve the numerous bounty of write-offs and deductions unique to your industry... found in state statutes.

    Nevada has many important mineral resources, and we deserve fair compensation for the extraction of those resources.

    The repeal of the Constitutional provision favoring your industry is not punitive; removing your industry's unfair advantage over other business interests is the definition of fairness.