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Advocates: Valentine’s Day "Divorce" to Separate NV Constitution from Mining

PHOTO: This is the "divorce petition" being delivered to the Nevada Legislature today. Photo courtesy of PLAN.
PHOTO: This is the "divorce petition" being delivered to the Nevada Legislature today. Photo courtesy of PLAN.
February 14, 2013

CARSON CITY, Nev. - As relationships go, this one has been longer than most, but after 150 years, local reform advocates said they plan to file for a Valentine's Day "divorce" - to separate the State Constitution from the state's mining industry. It comes down to "irreconcilable differences," according to Bob Fulkerson, who heads the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. He said for any relationship to be functional, there has to be give and take, but he claimed that's just not happening when it comes to Nevada and mining.

"It has been dysfunctional, because Nevada has given, given, given, and the mining industry has just taken. Gold from our mines is going to build mansions in Toronto and South Africa, and it's not being used to build school for our kids."

Fulkerson says Senate Joint Resolution 15 would make the break-up official by allowing citizens to remove the tax rate protection for mining from the State Constitution. His group will join with other local advocates on the steps of the Nevada State Legislature at noon today to deliver a rather large petition for the "divorce."

The mining industry said that considering how much the industry pays per employee, it is doing more than its fair share. Fulkerson said this is a sign the industry needs "marriage counseling." He suggested that lawmakers could still save the relationship.

"What we want to see is that they are removed from the Constitution," Fulkerson said, "so they no longer have those tax loopholes to hide behind, and so they are taxed just like any other industry in our state."

Senate Joint Resolution 15 dates back to the 2011 legislative session.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV