Teachers’ group pushes higher casino tax
November 19, 2007
A teachers group moved ahead Monday with its ballot initiative calling for higher taxes on Nevada’s biggest casinos to get more money for the state’s K-12 school system.
The Nevada State Education Association initiative would add another 3 percent tax on gambling revenues collected by casinos that gross more than $1 million a month. It would raise the taxes for such clubs to 9.75 percent, and generate more than $200 million a year.
“Nevada ranks at the bottom in per-pupil spending and our educators are tired of the burden they’ve been forced to bear for years,” NSEA president Lynne Warne said as the group prepared to file its initiative with the secretary of state’s office.
The proposal would have to win voter approval in the 2008 and 2010 elections before it could take effect. The filing of the plan enables the group to start collecting at least 58,628 signatures needed by May 20 to get on the ballot.
The plan has been challenged by Bill Bible, head of the Nevada Gaming Association, who said it will reduce investments in the state’s huge gambling industry, along with jobs that are created as a result of that investment.
Bible also said that the resorts agree with the teachers on the need for quality education, but added that the casino industry shouldn’t be singled out as the main source of new revenues.