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LETTER: Nevada lawmakers and the mining tax

Steve Sebelius’s marvelous July 26 column of six reasons the recent special session did nothing about the mining tax actually left out the seventh, or perhaps 6 1/2.

Mr. Sebelius mentioned former Gov. Jim Gibbons’s initiative petition that passed, requiring a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to raise taxes, and that Democrats are one vote short of a supermajority. But there is a supermajority at the Nevada Legislature: the Clark County delegation, which has 15 of the 21 state senators and 31 of the 42 members of the Assembly. They could have voted as a group, in the special session and at numerous other times, on a variety of matters that would benefit Clark County, including taxes on mining.

Of the $7.7 billion in revenue that mining generated in 2018, Clark County’s portion of it was 0.52 percent, according to the state Department of Taxation. So it is worth asking why they vote by party instead of by constituent interest. Lest you think this is overly parochial, go into the records and you’ll find the numerous occasions over the years when rural and/or northern legislators teamed up to vote down actions that would benefit Clark County.

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