RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Tuesday night the Washoe County Commissioners had their first chance to take action on raising taxes to fund school maintenance projects through AB 46.
There hasn't been a vote yet. The commission has until January to decide they're taking time to go over all the ins and outs of this hot topic.
Eight months after AB 46 made its debut at the legislature, people are still engaged enough to fill more than three hours of public comment at the meeting.
"Education is a very passionate issue," said Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez.
Dozens of people proved that during hours of public comment at the final workshop on AB 46.
Martinez welcomes the feedback.
"I love the fact that the public has a lot of questions," he said. "We were able to answer them and now we've got to see what they decide."
While the public plays a big role in the process, the ultimate decision lays with the county commission and Martinez said he is glad to see them taking it so seriously.
"The commissioners have done such an amazing job," Martinez said. "They've given us so much time. They've taken it to heart and, frankly, that's true leadership."
They have until January 1, 2014 to raise taxes under AB 46 or they lose the power to do so.
If they move forward, commission chairman David Humke said the sales tax increase requires at least three meetings and the property tax requires two.
"Each of those agendas, AB 46 is on there," Humke said. "So we can take action at any time."
But there are still questions to be answered and concerns to be addressed.
Humke's biggest concern is shared by many.
"We're shut out through the bill of having access to a vote of the people," he said.
You can't vote on AB 46, but you can tell them what you think.
"Whether you're for or against, reach out," Martinez said.
"If they want their opinion to count, commissioners will look at it," Humke said. "Our staff will look at it, then we'll send it to the school district and they can look at it."
AB 46 is expected to be an action item on next Tuesday's agenda. Between now and then, the commissioners want to know what you think.
You can weigh in through the Open Washoe County web forum.
If you have questions about AB 46, you can call the school district at 789-3401 from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday.