WCSD bill passes taxation committee

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 4/10/2013 12:42 am
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- A bill for education funding is one step closer to becoming reality, as Assembly Bill 46 is passed by the taxation committee.

AB 46 would add an extra 1/4 percent sales tax and 5 percent property tax to create funding for school repairs and maintenance. Tuesday was a success for the school district, but there's still a long way to go.

"This is an exciting day," said WCSD Director of Government Affairs Lindsay Anderson. "It's a small step in the process but I think we're really excited about the momentum that it has."

Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson said that momentum is a long time coming.

"I've been working with my colleagues for over a year to come up with a good solution to the capitol needs in Washoe County and I believe this bill is that vehicle," Benitez-Thompson said. 

She's one of the majority who voted to pass the original version of AB 46. Since the taxes only affect Washoe County, a few members questioned local elected officials for not being more involved in the discussion.

"Clark County folks are willing to help Washoe folks but where are these electeds," said assembly speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick. "I'm calling them out."

But Benitez-Thompson said they don't need to be.

"Whether or not the county commissioners way in doesn't matter to me because I know it's right," Benitez-Thompson said.

For her it's personal. 

"I've got a daugter in kindergarten in one of these schools and I want to know she's in a safe school," Benitez-Thompson said.

"We have over 200 buildings," WCSD Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. "More than a third of them are 50 years old. We have old buildings and we've got to take care of them."

Martinez said taking care of those buildings comes with a steep price tag.

"We have over 300 million dollars of need," Martinez said. 

The tax revenues won't pay the entire bill, but Martinez said it's a smart move.

"We're taking advantage of tourism," Martinez said. "We're taking advantage of the economy as it's getting stronger. Our community knows that our buildings need to be invested in otherwise our educations going to suffer."

Anderson says because there could be a cost attached to enacting this bill, it will likely have to make a stop in the ways and means committee before it hits the assembly floor for a vote. If it does get the two-thirds vote it needs, there's no telling what will happen when it gets to Governor Sandoval's desk. He's a supporter of education but also has spoken out against raising taxes.
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JTgator - 10/15/2013 11:21 PM
0 Votes
Raise the sales tax not the property tax so that it is fair to everyone . We get a lot of out of start visitors here that use our counties services so let them also help to pay for them through a sales tax.

ksdavishouse - 4/10/2013 3:32 PM
1 Vote
Here we go again. The economy is just barely showing some improvement and the "Government" wants to add an additional 5% to our property taxes. The value of my home has steadily declined since I moved here 7 years ago yet these elected representatives now want to further burden homeowners by proposing a 5% tax. Quite a few of those that would be taxed are living on a very fixed income. Unfortunately, those same individuals are struggling to pay their taxes already. It sounds like WSCD wants to tax Grandma & Grandpa to the point that they'll wind up having their homes sold out from under them because they can't afford any more taxes. Oh, BTW, even with an improving economy those who are on a fixed income (SSA, Govt retirees, etc) won't see an increase of their benefits, they'll just "have to do more with less" to try an pay these proposed taxes. Here's an idea, instead of penalizing home owners by bumping their taxes up by 5% who about just making the sales tax 1% instead of the 1/4%. That 1% increase would affect EVERYONE regardless of whether you own or rent your home. That would be fair to all and those on fixed incomes, welfare, working, ect. could choose to spend "smarter" And a 1% sales tax increase would definately help fund our schools, even forcing the "illegals" to pat their way. It also might help to see what the schools in WCSD want on thier agendas. Once reading, writing, math, science, history and other core REQUIREMENTS have been brought to an appropriarte standard then, and only then should these funds be releasde for other subjects and activities. Get as many beginning, intermediate and advanced shop students working on appropriarte projects with their schools. You would attain 4 goals 1. the kids would be working under the shop teacher and 2. the hands-on training to the students, skills that they may later use to find jobs. 3.The schoolwould start having the repairs made to your clasrooms. Raise the sales tax for EVERYONE Do this like a habitat!!!!

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