Check out this blog from our Executive Director, Bob Fulkerson and join us in Carson City on February 14th at Nevada’s legislative building to call on our legislators to remove the mining industry’s special protections from our state’s constitution.

Barrick’s 36.95% tax rate

The government of the Dominican Republic has extracted a deal from the world’s largest gold producer, Canadian-based Barrick Mining, to pay 3.2 percent of gross production, 25 percent for income tax and 8.75 percent from net earnings. This will amount to $11 billion in tax revenue from one mine.

Barrick, like other mining corporations in Nevada, pays an effective mining tax rate of 1% into Nevada’s General Fund. Like all of us, they pay a sales tax and a property tax (but not on the value of the gold beneath the land, and not if the land is public land, as 30-40% of all mining is in Nevada). Finally, thanks to a law signed by Ulysses S Grant in 1872, mining pays no royalties for minerals extracted on federal lands.

Nevada lawmakers have given away our riches for too long. It’s time to end the tax loopholes, remove mining’s protection from the Constitution, and pass Senate Joint Resolution 15 (SJR15). There can be no compromise. The Legislature either passes it this session, or forever keeps its sweetheart deals.

Remember: the Legislative Counsel Bureau has determined that passing SJR 15 will not lower or raise the amount of taxes mining pays. If SJR 15 is passed by the Legislature in 2013 and affirmed by the voters in 2014, mining’s tax protections would be removed from the Constitution yet remain in state statute. The Legislature would then be free to determine a fair rate of taxation.

Mining will stop at nothing to protect its obscene profits. The industry has doled out millions to lawmakers in campaign cash, and has more lobbyists than any other industry. They’ve spent untold cash on a public relations campaign, paid economists to paint a rosy picture of how much mining does for Nevada, and they continually boast about their donations to civic causes.

If you see through this smokescreen of lies like we do, the time to act is now.

Contact your Legislators and tell them to pass SJR 15.

Come to a news conference on Thursday, February 14th at 12:00pm (noon) on the front steps of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City. The relationship between our state Constitution and the mining industry in Nevada is a dysfunctional one, and it’s time to break up. RSVP here.