weather icon Clear

Nevada activist group calls for taxes on corporate profits, services

CARSON CITY — A coalition of activists Wednesday proposed a corporate profits tax and a sales tax on services to stabilize Nevada’s tax structure and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for education and social services.

The proposal by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada comes as the state budget battle heats up and a day before Democratic legislative leaders are expected to forward their own plan to raise taxes, a prospect Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and GOP law­makers oppose.

Sandoval has said he will veto any bill containing a tax or fee hike and reiterated his position in a televised speech Tuesday night. He also said he would add back $242 million to K-12 education based on higher-than-projected tax forecasts, but added that while Nevada’s economy is showing signs of improvement, it’s still fragile.

The governor said businesses are still struggling and “cannot afford a tax increase or further intrusion by government.”

Nevada relies heavily on sales and casino taxes — two sources pummeled by the recession — to fund government services. Lawmakers, economists and some business groups for years have called for a broader and more stable tax base, but the concept has never gotten out of the starting block.

PLAN proposed replacing the state’s current modified business tax that is calculated on employee wages with a corporate profits tax that could be set with exemption levels.

“We don’t want to hurt small businesses,” said Jan Gilbert, a coordinator with the alliance.

The group’s study estimated that substituting a corporate income tax for the payroll tax could generate $98 million to $476 million a year, depending on exemption cutoffs.

Expanding Nevada’s sales tax to include some services could bring in another $792 million, while revising the net proceeds tax paid by mining companies could fetch another $197 million, the report said.

Battle lines over Sandoval’s proposed budget, now estimated at $6 billion, have been taut since the session began Feb. 7. But with lawmakers facing a constitutionally mandated deadline of June 6 to adjourn, a continued stalemate probably will result in a special session.

Democrats hold slim majorities in the state Senate and Assembly but lack the clout to pass tax increases or override a governor’s veto. Likewise, Republicans cannot pass a budget without support from some Democrats.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
US held nearly 70K migrant children in custody in 2019

The nearly 70,000 migrant children who were held in government custody this year — up 42 percent in fiscal year 2019 from 2018 — spent more time in shelters and away from their families than in prior years.

Carter, 95, recovering after surgery to relieve pressure on brain

Jimmy Carter’s spokeswoman says the former president is recovering at Emory University Hospital following surgery to relieve pressure from bleeding on his brain.

Justices allow Sandy Hook shooting lawsuit about rifle go forward

The Supreme Court said Tuesday a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people.

Supreme Court’s conservatives seem to back Trump on DACA

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seems prepared to allow the Trump administration to end a program that allows some immigrants to work legally in the U.S. and protects them from deportation.

Catastrophic fire warning in Sydney as wildfires ravage Australia

New South Wales state is under a weeklong state of emergency, a declaration that gives the Rural Fire Service powers to control resources and direct other agencies in its efforts to battle fires.