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Nevada Medical Equipment Sales Could Become Less Taxing

Nevada voters have a chance in November to give a tax break to the ailing and others who purchase medical equipment.

Back on the ballot is Question 4 — a constitutional amendment exempting some durable medical equipment from sales taxes.

The measure passed in 2016 with more than 70 percent of the vote. If it wins approval on Nov. 6, the Legislature is required to write the tax break into law.

Doug Bennett, a retired former owner of a medical supply company in Reno, is the main backer of Question 4. He says the tax break would offer a small benefit to patients facing large medical bills.

"Many of the people have a real tough time paying their medical expenses," he told State of Nevada. "And some patients have even gone without because they couldn't afford it."

Question 4 has no organized opposition, but those against the measure typically argue it is bad policy to play favorites with the tax code.

Also, state Controller Ron Knecht, a Republican, came out against Question 4, saying the changes could be made in statute rather than by amending the state constitution.

“Enshrining these provisions in the constitution would prevent timely reform of any parts of the proposal that may be found to merit change or repeal later,” he said.

Support comes from

Taxation officials estimate the measure would only have a nominal impact on the overall state budget. It would cover most home medical equipment purchased with a doctor's order, but not eyeglasses or hearing aids.

Guests

Doug Bennett, leads campaign for passage of Question 4

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