Democratic tax plan to be unveiled this week, will be combination of payroll tax, mining and long-term property tax changes

UPDATED: I'm also told Steve Wynn has decided to get engaged in the tax discussion and has called lawmakers, even going so far as to say he might come to Carson City next week. The gist of his pitch: Tax mining, not gaming! It's 1989 all over again.

Please come to Carson in the springtime, Mr. Wynn.


I chatted with Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis and some other sources, Democratic and Republican, after a teachers union town hall Saturday morning and learned that the Democrats actually do have a tax package that they plan to roll out this week as the state's Economic Forum makes its final projections.

Here's what I know about a plan expected to encompass the now (immediate money) and then (future funding):

►They plan to use the Modified Business Tax as a vehicle to raise more money, including what one source called "a special MBT on mining." But that is not expected to be the end of the Democratic attempts to extract dollars from mining, including some kind of other tax. Expect SJR 15, to take mining taxation out of the Constitution, to pass by the end of the week.

My guess: The miners might consider something so long as their arch-nemesis, Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, gets no credit. Yes, that's what it has come to.

But, Denis told me, "It can't just be the mining tax."

By the way, the MBT is generally acknowledged as a dumb tax, a disincentive to hiring, one put in place so the chambers and their friends could avoid a gross receipts tax in 2003. The 2011 Democratic tax plan, with a margins tax and a sales tax on services, planned to phase out the dreaded MBT. But with a sales tax on services off the table (for now), and chatter about a corporate income tax dying down, what else do they have with the session two-thirds over?

►Removal of exemptions from the Live Entertainment Tax. Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick is refining it after talking to gamers about the potential effects on a conference  call last week. Language is expected early in the week.

►Removal of tax breaks for major peorperites, as I detailed here. They also will look at a Board of Equalization process that has allowed major taxpayers to get their properties re-assessed and reap huge discounts. Two prime examples: MGM Grand and Trump Tower, which now pays a pittance.

Assemblyman Elliot Anderson alluded to the abatements part of the plan during the town hall Saturday, saying they "will be looking" at them.

Bottom line: Next week is going to be very interesting, with the Democrats emerging from the sidelines on the tax debate to take center stage. But do they force Roberson off the stage, or hold hands with him to take a bow after the production ends June 3?