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Nevada Casino Taxes Will Rise If Proposed Initiative Passes

The political battle was already expected to be grueling for lawmakers in Nevada this election year. On Tuesday, an initiative filed by a group in the state caused an immediate reaction, and threatened to make the campaign trail even murkier for hopeful politicians.

Nevadans for a Fair 9 Percent Gambling Revenue Tax filed the initiative that, if passed, would raise taxes for the top earning casinos in Nevada to nine percent. The initiative would affect all casinos that earn over $250,000 a month. That rate would increase from the current 6.75% that casinos earning more than $134,000 a month pay.

"The initiative represents a 33% tax increase on the gaming industry, which would be reckless and irresponsible," said Virginia Valentine, President of the Nevada Resort Association. "We are currently reviewing the language. If this effort is indeed legitimate, we will oppose it vigorously."

Nevada casinos have long enjoyed one of the coziest tax rates in the country. The state is highly reliant on the gaming industry, and even with the low tax rates, government pulls in hundreds of millions of dollars each year in tax revenue. State lawmakers have been searching for ways to bring in more money from the gaming industry, and most politicians have been focusing on adding online casinos to the state's list of options.

Dozens of states have added new casinos in the past few years since the recession. The tax rates in these states range from 10 to 50 percent. Illinois, where lawmakers are looking to add more casinos, the tax rate is 50%. Florida casinos pay rates in the thirties, and Louisiana casinos are taxed at a rate just over 25%.

Monte Miller, a Conservative businessman in Nevada, is behind the initiative, and he is joined by many Nevada residents who see millions of people come through their state each year, and the casinos keeping a large percentage of what the gamblers leave behind.

"We need to do something because these companies that run the casinos here are making big money, expanding across the entire world, and we are stuck with just under seven percent of the gambler losses," said Nevada resident Marc Diabold. "I would vote for the nine percent tax, although I even think that is too low. These casinos should be paying the going rate, and around the country, that is at least 25%."

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