Dirty Half-Dozen to present plan for $600 million mining tax

UPDATED, 7:20 AM: I have attached the GOP release here. Also, let's not forget that even putting an alternative on the ballot may not be legal.


On the day marking the two-thirds point of Session '13, state Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson and five of his GOP colleagues plan to unveil a $600 million a biennium net proceeds tax on mines, sources confirmed.

The so-called Education Priority Initiative from the folks I have affectionately dubbed the Dirty Half-Dozen would be promoted as a way to reduce class sizes by hiring teachers, fund English Language Learner programs and set up a stabilization fund dedicated to education. The mining tax would be earmarked only for education funding.

The tax would take effect in November 2014 and assumes passage of SJR 15 (taking mining taxation out of the Constitution where net proceeds is capped at 5 percent). I also understand that the tax would apply to operations with net proceeds exceeding $4 million a year, and the operations would still be obligated to pay above that to local entities mandated under the current law. That's clearlly designed to remove any argument this would harm local governments and school districts.

I'm told Roberson has been in contact with Democrats about this proposal, but they have yet to embrace it. And, yet, two-thirds through the session, with memories of that early-session promise by Democratic leaders to enhance education funding, who is out with a plan first?

More when I have it....

The existence of a proposal was first reported last night by Las Vegas Sun Political Editor Anjeanette Damon.