Senate panel approves bill extending 'sunset taxes'

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada Senate committee has passed a proposal to make several expiring taxes permanent and raise the cigarette tax.

The Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee approved SB483 on Thursday in a split vote.

The bill would make temporary rates on the payroll tax and sales tax permanent. An amendment to the bill also raises taxes on cigarettes from 80 cents to $1.80 per pack.

The so-called "sunset taxes" were created in 2009 and lawmakers have temporarily extended them every two years. Republican Sen. Ben Kieckhefer said they've become essential to maintaining basic services.

Democrats questioned some of the extensions, and said the cigarette tax rate might be too aggressive.

Extending the expiring taxes would raise more than half a billion dollars over two years.

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