To the Editor:
Voters should say “Yes,” to question 2 in the upcoming election. Nevada is the eighth most regressive taxing state in the Nation. That means that low and middle-income people pay a larger percentage of taxes than individuals with higher incomes.
Nevada is the No. 1 gold producer in the United States and one of the top five gold producers in the world. The industry took more than $9 billion in gold in 2012, while the net proceeds of minerals tax brought in $236 million in fiscal year 2012-2013, according to state data. Nevada’s mining taxes are nearly nonexistent compared with the rest of the world. Further, Nevada is one of the three states with no corporate profits tax to help pay for the services that benefit those corporations.
Mining corporations account for 98 percent of toxic chemicals released in Nevada, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and a single gold ring leaves in its wake, on average, 20 tons of mine waste. The average gold mine uses enough water to provide the water needs for a population equivalent to that of a large American city for a year.
Voters must pass Question 2 in order to contain the tax burden on the low and middle classes. Vote yes to help pay for education and other services. Vote yes to put aside revenue to recover from the damages to our environment and water resources once the industry has gone.