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Coalition being formed to talk Nev. tax reform
by Associated Press
Aug 08, 2011 | 1556 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CARSON CITY (AP) — Nevada’s reliance on volatile sales and casino taxes to fund state government is a concern for business leaders who are talking about forming a coalition on tax reform.

Nevada Resort Association lobbyist Billy Vassiliadis predicted a broad coalition of business and labor groups will come together in the coming months to try to tackle the issue and recommend alternatives.

The goals, he said, will “depend on what the broadest number of people want to do.”

“Poll after poll show the public doesn’t want to see more cuts in education,” Vassiliadis told the Las Vegas Sun in a story published Monday.

A Democratic proposal to implement a business margin tax and extend the sales tax to some services was abandoned during the 2011 session when it became clear the measures lacked the two-thirds majorities needed in both the Senate and Assembly for passage.

Nevada’s casino and mining industries have long advocated for a broad-based business tax, but Vassiliadis said the Nevada Resort Association has made no decision on what kind of reform it would support.

“I think there are discussions happening in board rooms and union halls all over the state,” he said.

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who ran on a no-new tax platform, ultimately agreed to extend $620 million in temporary taxes that would have expired June 30 after a Nevada Supreme Court ruling cast doubt on other funding sources used to balance his $6.2 billion general fund budget.

Those taxes will expire in another two years, meaning the issue of tax reform will be around in 2013.

Sandoval has said he’s not opposed to discussing tax reform before the next legislative session.

Besides business representatives, the Las Vegas Sun reported that leaders with the AFL-CIO and the Nevada State Education Association, which represents teachers, have been meeting to discuss options and strategies.
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