Nevada Senate Approves Historic Tax Hike to Fund Education

Posted on June 07, 2015

Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, urged lawmakers in his 2015 State of the State address to focus on education.  “Improving our public education system must therefore begin with modernization, and modernization requires investment.”  The investment Sandoval spoke of totaled to a $1.1 billion package to improve K-12 education, the highest tax hike in the history of the state.  The Nevada Senate approved all of Sandoval’s proposals on June 1, 2015 even though vocal critics tried to persuade the legislature that the bill was similar to a business tax plan that was voted down by the public in November.

Once the plan is signed by the Governor, it will take effect at the start of the new fiscal year, July 1.  The plan includes:

A cigarette tax hike.  The bill raises a tax on cigarette packs from $0.80 to $1.80.  It is expected that this alone will raise $100 million over the next two years.
An increase in the business license fee.  The fee for corporations will rise from $200 a year to $500.
An increase in the payroll tax.  Sandoval's plan raises the state's existing modified business tax from 1.17 percent to 1.475 percent of wages beyond the first $200,000 a company pays out each year and sets the rate at 2 percent of those wages for the mining industry and financial institutions.
A "Commerce Tax" on gross revenue.  Industry-specific tax rates will apply to businesses with more than $4 million in Nevada revenue each year.
An extension on “Sunset Taxes”.  Around $600 million of the plan comes from making a set of expiring payroll and sales taxes permanent.

Tips for the Taxpayer

Taxpayers are responsible to be up-to-date with the tax laws.  Read about the tax laws at the Nevada Department of Revenue webpage ( or following them on Twitter @NVTaxDept.

Be aware of the tax rates for your industry as well as the tax credits that are available.   A little research can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

If you’re doing business in Nevada, ensure you are licensed and filing returns promptly to reduce the risk of penalties.


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