Washoe County lawmakers and school district react to signing of school repairs bill
Listen to the story
Washoe County lawmakers and members of the school district are reacting to Governor Brian Sandoval's signing of a bill that would raise taxes to fund school repair projects. The Governor signed Assembly Bill 46 Wednesday. It proposes increasing sales taxes by a quarter percent and property tax by five cents.
While the bill comes out of the state legislature, it's the Washoe County Board of Commissioners that has the final say. And that, Chairman David Humke says, is an odd situation:
"You know, you ask people what they want, what's on their mind, and they say can you please fix the schools faster. I say, you know, you're talking about the Washoe County School district. We're Washoe County, and they're two separate entities."
Humke says he and the other Commissioner's take very seriously the needs of the school district and the importance of education. At the same time:
"We haven't considered raising taxes very much throughout the recession..."
Four out of five Washoe County commissioners will need to vote in favor the legislation by January 2014.
Washoe County Superintendent Pedro Martinez says the reason they got the legislation signed is because of wide community support. The next step is making that pitch to the Commissioners.
"Because this tax isn't just important for fixing our building, it's also important for continuing to fix our economy. It's going to create jobs..."
The proposed tax increase is expected to generate about 20 million dollars a year and 500 million dollars in school repairs over the next decade. It has no sunset.