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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, March 12, 2010

    Nevada Focus: Does Mining Pay Its Fair Share?

    Here is an upcoming event with some background.

    Does Mining Pay Its Fair Share? (Educational)
    The Truckee Meadows Democratic Alliance presents this program, featuring Bob Fulkerson of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and Tim Crowley of the Nevada Mining Association.

    Wednesday, March 17 from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

    Location:
    Washoe County Democratic Party HQ (Reno, NV)
    1465 Terminal Way, Suite 1
    Reno, NV 89502

    http://site.nevadafairminingtax.org/

    Background:

    If Nevada were a country, it would be the fourth largest gold producer in the world, after China, Australia and South Africa. Yet Nevada’s world-class gold mining industry produces roughly the same amount of tax revenue for Nevada’s general fund as the state’s tax on rental cars.

    Mining gets a sweet deal…

    · The mining industry sold $5.7 billion in minerals from Nevada in 2008, 95 percent of it in gold. The industry paid $40 million in net proceeds taxes to the state’s general fund – an effective tax rate of less than 1 percent. In contrast, the tax on baby formula sold in Clark County is nearly 8 percent.

    · A 5 percent tax on gross proceeds would have generated $284 million in 2008, a year in which state government was forced to slash spending on all programs, including elementary schools. Gov. Jim Gibbons proposal to slash another $100 million from underfunded schools in January 2010 would never be needed if mining paid its fair share.

    · The mining industry is unique. It can only take gold out of the ground once. When the gold or other mineral is gone, the industry (and the jobs it produces) moves away, leaving behind scarred earth and ghost towns. That is why “extractive industries” throughout the United States are taxed in a different way than industries which build permanent infrastructures and communities. When the industry argues that it should be taxed like any other business in Nevada, it ignores the fact that it is shipping nonrenewable resources and profits out of Nevada forever.

    · Mining, riding a wave of all-time high profits, produces relatively few jobs in Nevada compared to the gaming industry, which has been hard-hit by the recession: Fewer than 1 percent of Nevada’s jobs are directly in mining compared to about 25 percent for the gaming industry.

    · Between years 2000 through 2007, one-third to one-half of all the mines operating in Nevada reported zero taxable proceeds despite producing gold worth a half-billion dollars or more.

    · Over the same eight years, the Nevada mining industry has deducted 79 percent of the value of their gold production and paid taxes only on the remaining 21 percent.

    · Gold prices now are at an all-time high, above $1,000 an ounce, and the CEO of Barrick Gold speculated last year that the value could easily top $2,000. It costs $200 to $400 to mine and process an ounce of gold from ore.

    …While Nevada citizens and small businesses are hurting

    · Nevada ranks 47th in per-pupil school expenditures at $6,963, compared to a national average of $9,557.

    · Nevada ranks 43rd in overall child well-being indicators.

    · Nearly 19 percent of Nevada’s children lack any health insurance.

    · Nevada ranks third in the nation for the level of economic distress.

    · Nevada ranks first in the nation for the increase in food stamp caseloads.

    · Nevada ranks first in the nation for foreclosures.

    Useful Links

    PLAN Website

    Fool's Gold: The Silver State's Tax Structure, Inadequate and Inequitable (2009)

    That Midas Touch: Time for Nevada's Gold Mines to Start Paying Their Fair Share

    Nevadans for Fair Mining Taxes is a coalition dedicated to ensuring a stable and equitable revenue source for our state by undoing antebellum Constitutional provisions which allow the mining industry to evade paying its fair share of taxes.

    For more information:

    info@nevadafairminingtax.org
    If you or your organization are interested in joining our Community Advocacy Commitee, please contact our office:
    (775) 348-7557 or (702) 791-1965

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