Humboldt County Comptroller Gina Rackley requested the Humboldt Commission to authorize a letter be sent on behalf of the county to the State of Nevada Department of Taxation. The request was initiated because the county’s Combined Sales Tax (CTX) under the Mining (except for Gas and Oil) has been down in double digits for 7 consecutive months. The letter specifically asks for the department to conduct an audit of the combined sales and use tax and to report back to the commission its findings.
Rackley told the commission she had been in email contact with Terri Upton, the Assistant Director for the Department of Taxation, but the exchange was unsatisfactory. “[The contact] was really kind of vague going back and forth. We were told there was an error in the reporting, and we would see an adjustment and then the next month it was down again.”
Rackley said the largest decline occurred in July which showed a -90.7% decline from the previous year. But Rackley said that even if July is the error the department mentioned and is excluded it’s still raised a red flag for her. “This is actual sales of bullion that's taking place on a month to month basis and so this is $5 million over seven months,” Rackley said.
Rackley estimated that the amount the county would see from the $5 million is $98,000. 
The letter sent to the department suggests that the cause of the decline is the merger between Barrick Gold Mines and Newmont Corporation. “One significant factor that happened in the gold mining industry in the State of Nevada during this same period was the merger of Barrick Gold Mines and Newmont Corporation to form the joint venture now known as Nevada Gold Mines. We find it very coincidental that this significant reduction occurred at the same time of the merger and feel that there could possibly be an error in the reporting for the County in which the product is being mined,” the letter states.
Newmont and Barrick agreed to merge their Nevada assets in April 2019, forming the world's largest precious-metal mining operation, according to reports.
Commissioner Jim French agreed, “I think one or two items you could call an anomaly or a coincidence. But when you're looking at five or six months and it coincides exactly the month the merger took effect … that's indication to me that it just doesn't make sense.”
Commissioner Ron Cerri asked Rackley if there were similar declines before the merger and she said that there were no significant declines recorded. 
The letter also requested a representative from the Department of Taxation present findings from the audit to the commissioners. However, she warned the commissioners the report is likely to be ambiguous. They will probably be vague because they have to be very careful what they're saying. They can't tip off if it's one particular business that's maybe having some financial issues … but I do think they should report to this board when we see something major like this.”