Who’s on first?

The sponsor of an initiative ballot petition that would have protected a mining industry tax loophole while slightly raising mining taxes said last week he is dropping the petition.

Monte Miller, a conservative Las Vegas investor and advisor to Jim Gibbons when Gibbons was governor, also dropped a petition that if enacted would have increased the state gambling tax to 9 percent—still one of the lowest in the nation.

Miller has been gaming the initiative process in an effort to block a broad business tax. When Nevada AFL/CIO said it would launch an initiative petition to accomplish it, Miller retaliated with his counter-petitions. He now says he doesn’t think the union federation can accomplish it, leading him to drop his petitions. Earlier this month a state court judge ruled that his gambling tax petition was misleading and Miller had said then he would start over with a new petition.

Nevada AFL/CIO leader Danny Thompson said his group’s petition will go forward.

Also at play in this dance is a legislative proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 15, which would remove the mining tax loophole from the Nevada Constitution. Mining is the only industry that has its own tax break enshrined in the constitution.