Monday, January 12, 2009

Group proposes new taxes to fix state budget - Las Vegas Sun

More at Las Vegas Sun: “A liberal group proposed a host of new and higher taxes in order to avoid steep budget cuts over this upcoming biennium.

The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada presented the plan Monday to raise, according to their figures, $1.259 billion a year. Officials with the organization said Nevada's tax structure places an unfair burden on the poor and middle class, and lets profitable businesses largely off the hook.

The plan would:

Eliminate most tax exemptions deducted by mining companies before they pay the net proceeds of minerals -- $141 million a year.
Institute a "business profits tax" of 5 percent on businesses with profits between $50,000 and $100,000. Businesses with profits over $100,000 a year would pay 7 percent -- $194 million a year.
Double the modified business tax, which is a tax businesses pay based on payroll -- $279 million a year.
Tax meals that the gaming industry comps to players. PLAN says this would generate $140 million a year. The Department of Taxation, though, has said that paying back taxes from 2002 owed to gaming companies under a recent Supreme Court ruling would cost the state a total of $60 million and local governments $40 million.
Increase the room tax by 3 percentage points in Clark and Washoe counties. PLAN says that would generate $125 million a year, but that was before the serious downturn in the tourism market. More recent estimates have put that number at $100 million a year.
Institute an "unearned income tax" of 3 percent on income over $200,000 per year. That includes money from capital gains, interest and dividends. That would bring in $380 million a year. It would also require a constitutional amendment, which would require approval from the voters twice, in 2010 and 2012 before it could be enacted in 2013.
Income tax. It would also require constitutional amendment, though PLAN does not lay out specific rates.
PLAN said Nevada's tax structure, which relies heavily on sales tax and gaming tax, has the poorest of the state paying a disproportionately higher percent of their incomes in taxes.”

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