Legislation to Close Mining Tax Loopholes Proposed by State Senator Horsford
A piece of legislation was proposed today by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, a Democrat from North Las Vegas, which aims to end the mining industry’s ability to convince state regulators to expand its tax deductions beyond what is allowed by law.
The proposed legislation of Horsford would specifically abolish some deductions that are being claimed by the industry despite the fact that they are nowhere to be found in state law. The legislation also seeks to make the regulatory oversight more stringent so the industry is not able to take advantage of the confusion between the law and regulations so that its tax bill would be reduced.
An investigation launched by the Las Vegas Sun into the ability of the industry to expand its tax deductions revealed regulators often sided with the industry lobbyists over their own legal counsels and staff to support tax breaks that are not authorized in state law.
Horsford asked, “How can we say it is working and it is effective?” He then added, “What we have now isn’t being followed and we’re losing money.”
However, the lawmaker was unable to provide a figure on how much the state has lost in revenues because of the highly irregular deductions as claimed by the mining sector on its net proceeds of minerals tax.
The industry is allowed by the state to deduct the costs that are specifically associated with the extraction and processing of minerals. However, over the years, those costs have expanded to include things like employee housing, travel, corporate office expenses, as well as sales taxes.