Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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Activist Monte Miller drops push to raise gaming, mining taxes

Miller says no longer a need to difuse a proposed broad-based business tax, which he believes will not come to fruition

Proposals to raise the gaming and mining taxes through the ballot box are dead, after the conservative businessman leading both efforts announced today he was dropping the effort.

Monte Miller, of Las Vegas, said in a statement he is confident that a competing tax measure, to tax business’ profits, won’t attract a broad coalition of support. He additionally pointed to the commitments by Gov. Brian Sandoval to oppose a corporate income tax.

“The Nevada AFL-CIO has clearly failed to build broad-based support for its ballot initiative,” Miller said in a statement. “While it is uncertain whether the Nevada AFL-CIO will move forward with a business margins or income tax, I am now confident that if they do move forward they will not have the broad-based support they need to win voter approval.”

Since he announced the initiatives that took on two of the state’s largest most powerful industries, Miller’s intentions were clear: He wanted to scuttle an effort by labor and some businesses to get a broad business tax in front of voters.

Earlier this month, Miller explicitly said he would drop his effortsto tax mining and gaming if they committed not to support the broad business tax.

It’s unclear if he received any sort of assurances before issuing the statement Tuesday afternoon, but the effort to broaden the tax base, led by the AFL-CIO, the state’s largest labor group, has yet to draw widespread support. Gaming and mining have been mute. The Nevada State Education Association has withheld support because of disputes over legal language.

Miller had proposed two separate initiatives.

“Nevadans for a Fair Gambling Revenue Tax” would have changed state law to increase taxes on the state’s largest casinos from its current rate of 6.75 percent, the lowest rate in the country. A judge threw out the initiative but Miller said he would refile.

“Nevadans United for Fair Mining Taxes” would have changed the constitution and increased the cap from 5 percent to 9 percent. That initiative survived initial legal challenges.

Miller, in his statement, said Sandoval “has provided strong leadership on the issue of taxation.” Sandoval has promised to extend $620 million in taxes passed in 2011 and scheduled to expire in 2013.

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