Nevada Mining Tax Cap Amendment, SJR 15 (2014)
- Assembly Minority Leader Michael Roberson (R-20)
- Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams (D-42)
- Assemblyman Skip Daly (D-31)
Assemblywoman Bustamante argued that the measure is an opportunity for voters to decide whether or not they want to remove the provision from the state constitution. Assemblyman Daly also supported the passage of the measure on the basis that the state constitution has not kept up with modernizations in the mining industry. To address concerns of loss of mining business due to the changes proposed by the measure, he said, "The state won’t lose mining jobs because the minerals are here."
Assemblyman Ellison opposed the bill, saying, “Just this one bill has the power to close many of the small ore mines around Nevada and can adversely change the way mining is done forever."
Assemblyman Wheeler also opposed the measure and claimed that its passage would create instability in the Nevada marketplace and would "not create one job in Nevada."
Lobbyist for the Nevada Mining Association, Tim Crowley, expressed the associations disapproval of the measure after the second passage of SJR 15, saying,
Passage of SJR15 will lead to significantly less state revenue to fund essential services and potentially disrupt revenue streams in rural mining counties as well. There’s no certainty if, how or when these revenues will be restored. 
—Tim Crowley, 
On May 2, 2014, Jim Wadhams, a lobbyist for Newmont Mining and the Nevada Mining Association, warned that the mining industry will challenge the measure in court, if it becomes law.
At a hearing of the Assembly Taxation Committee, the Nevada Mining Association claimed that if the repeal is approved by voters, the mining would be taxed under property tax provisions that limit the tax rate to 3.64 percent of the assessed value of the property. Deputy legislative council, Kevin Powers, refuted that claim by saying the taxes on minerals produced by mines would not be property taxes but as excise taxes that are not required to be uniform and equal. Wadhams, in return, cited opinions of the United States Supreme Court that consider the net proceeds of mineral tax as a property tax.
Assembly Minority Leader Michael Roberson (R-20) spoke against the claims made by Wadhams by urging Assembly members to be "smart enough and listen to your lawyer," rather than statements made by people "sent here to deceive you."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Nevada Constitution
According to Article 16, Section 1 of the Nevada Constitution, an amendment proposed by the legislature must be approved by a majority in both the Assembly and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions. If twice approved by the legislature, the amendment then goes to the ballot where voters decide whether or not to ultimately pass it.
SJR 15 was first approved by the Senate on May 28, 2011, and the Assembly on June 11, 2011. It was approved by a second consecutive legislature when the Senate approved it on April 1, 2013 and the Assembly on May 23, 2013.
First Senate vote
May 28, 2011 Senate vote
|Nevada SJR 15 Senate Vote|
Second Senate vote
April 1, 2013 Senate vote
|Nevada SJR 15* Senate Vote|
First Assembly vote
June 6, 2011 Assembly vote
|Nevada SJR 15 Assembly Vote|
Second Assembly vote
May 23, 2013 Assembly vote
|Nevada SJR 15* Assembly Vote|
- Las Vegas Review Journal, "Mining tax measure placed on 2014 statewide ballot," May 23, 2013
- Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Legislature moves closer to annual sessions," June 3, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Mining warns Nevada legislators that tax bill could end up in court," May 2, 2013
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- Open States, "SJR 15 Nevada 2011 Regular Session," accessed May 13, 2014
- Nevada Legislature, "SJR15* of the 76th (2011) Session," accessed May 13, 2014
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