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Hundreds of companies urge Trump to resolve tariff dispute with China. Also on our Friday rundown: California moves closer to universal health coverage. Plus, new Gulf restoration projects – a decade after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Daily Newscasts

NV Lawmakers Near $300 Million Decision on Margin Tax

May 24, 2011

CARSON CITY, Nev. - With less than two weeks to go in the session, state lawmakers hold a hearing today on the proposed Margin Tax, a major part of the tax plan proposed by Democrats. It would be phased in to generate about $300 million a year. In addition to providing badly-needed dollars for education, the Margin Tax would also help fill gaps in Nevada's health care budget, according to statewide Legal Advocacy Coordinator Jon Sasser.

He says, without new revenue sources, hospitals, nursing homes and other providers face deep cuts in everything from mental health services to nursing home care for low-income seniors.

"That will result, according to the spokespeople for the industry, in the closing of nursing homes. Also, because of shifting nursing home costs to counties, you could potentially have people in nursing homes out on the street."

The Margin Tax would replace an existing business tax. Republicans oppose it, saying a tax could hurt economic growth. Governor Brian Sandoval has already threatened a veto.

Las Vegas Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce calls today's hearing an effort to fine-tune the proposed tax measure. Despite the strong Republican opposition, she believes the people of Nevada prefer a modest tax over another round of drastic budget cuts.

"Being a low-tax state for 30 years and having a very small government hasn't produced the results that conservatives promised us it would produce; it hasn't diversified the economy. So, Nevadans are ready to try something new."

Pierce says Nevada already has by far the smallest state government in the country. The proposed Margin Tax on 0.8 percent of business revenues is supported by both the mining and gaming industries. It is up for discussion this morning at 9:00 in the Assembly Taxation Committee.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV