The following post was submitted by Jeff Church – Retired Reno Police Officer:
Washoe County voters will be facing A November ballot measure for a massive .54 sales tax increase to 8.26% (higher than Las Vegas and parts of California).
I am on the committee drafting the OPPOSITION to the tax. I welcome any input. I can provide more info on request but the $781 million (that’s a lot!) figure quoted in the media is simply 100% false. That is the figure proposed by the research group and at meetings I attended but then a bait and switch occurred and the present ballot measure:
- Never ends- no sunset- billions after the $781 is reached
- Has no mechanism to shut it off or reduce it after building needs are met
- Allow SUPPLANTATION (google it): add to the top and take off the bottom
- Can be used for EXISTING salaries and costs before a dime is spent on new schools.
- No enforcement measure.
*many taxes allow annual review and adjustment- although of course they always take the max- but this has no way to shut it off!
- The $781 figure included a lot of pork and only projected out 9 years. There is no study to justify the tax beyond that.
- The $781 was the cost (pork filled) for 9 years of school needs. It did say we had a shortfall and did not address where the $ comes from, i.e. existing budget, etc…
- They already have about half the money need, it’s called SB 207 passed in the last legislature giving them $315 of your property tax. So minus pork, that’s half of the need. Add in existing funding and knock off another 30-60 million. Via C Tax and growth and rising property tax etc: the WCSD revenue is already increasing at about $17 million a year, enough to build a school a year.
- Even if it passed today, the “some call it extortion” tactic of double sessions won’t be affected. It will be 4+ years before the first school is built and available labor limits us at most building 2 schools at a time!
- Private Build Sell or lease could save millions and reduce building time by 30% or more.
- Most growth is in the north-south outlaying areas but still there may be an existing building or two that could be used as has been done elsewhere for govt buildings..
- The last legislature approved SB302, the E.S.A. (Education savings Account: similar to voucher) program to take off the burden and give parents funds to send kids to private schools. Summary: They already have the money, they did a bait & switch and the tax never ends and can’t be reduced.
SUMMARY: Via SB 207, existing budget and increased annual revenue ($17 million) they have funds already. Charter and private schools (ESA) can provide an alternative. If the need still exists, let’s draft one that is adjustable, sunsets and based on a financial study to justify the need.
I welcome input.
Note: Information on referenced Nevada Education Savings Account Program (ESA) may be obtained via the following link: