Behind the Bar is The Nevada Independent’s newsletter devoted to comprehensive and accessible coverage of the 2021 Legislature.
In this edition: Recapping a Q&A with the head of the state mining association, how one lawmaker went viral on TikTok and details on a bill aimed at getting more Native American involvement in the naming of geographical places. Plus, a look ahead at this week’s major bill hearings.
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“Is the Nevada mining industry paying its fair share?”
You’d be forgiven for thinking that those headlines refer to the efforts from the 2020 special session and current legislative session to raise the constitutional cap on the net proceeds of mining taxes.
But all of those stories linked above are from a decade ago, when lawmakers and progressive advocates facing record budget shortfalls and a sluggish economy looked to the state’s countercyclical mining industry as a way to avoid massive revenue shortfalls.
Those efforts a decade ago fell short; the late Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce’s bill reducing the amount of deductions that mining companies could apply against the tax never passed out of committee in the 2011 session, and an effort to take the entire section on net proceeds out of the Nevada Constitution fell short on the 2014 ballot.
But I don’t think many involved in the conversation about mining taxes in 2021 will tell you that past will be prologue; the Legislature has changed tremendously over the past decade, with more and more of the state’s political power centered