Sales tax law geared for voters
March 16, 2016
A quarter-cent sales tax question to generate funds for school repairs will go to Douglas County commissioners for their next scheduled meeting so it can be placed on the general election ballot in November.
Senate Bill 411, passed by the Nevada Legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2015, is designed to make benefits available statewide and to give voters an opportunity to make decisions regarding their own respective school districts. On Wednesday, the Douglas County School District's SB411 Committee approved terms of the .25 percent tax question that now goes to county commissioners before voters have their final say on Nov. 8.
The committee met eight times to consider a tax question that is designed to raise $10 million over 10 years.
"The legislation itself, I think is worthwhile," committee chairman Dave Brady said after the hour-long meeting adjourned on Wednesday. "I think it's a nice process by which you brought in representatives, the stakeholders, and had a committee meet. There's not enough of that. Usually, everybody is forced to live with the consequences of what the Legislature is deciding, but here's an opportunity where the community gets to decide or at least identify and bring forward to the public to vote whether or not they see the importance of what we're trying to do."
Committee recommendations are forwarded to county commissioners, who are required by SB411 to submit the tax recommendations as a question on the 2016 general election ballot.
Douglas County commissioners could hear the proposed tax question as soon as their April 7 meeting. Part of the process is selecting committees to write arguments for and against.
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"I think we've done everything that is expected of us," Brady said. "Now, let the chips fall where they may."
School Board President Ross Chichester expressed his gratitude to the committee for its work.
"I think that they presented a very positive approach to the needs of the district," Chichester noted. "As a taxpayer, as we all are, I was especially happy that the committee recommended a 10-year sunset on the additional taxing authority. This should be reviewed at that time to determine by a future board and if determined it is necessary be brought forward to the voters again."