Lawmakers Pass Tax Hike Proposals to Voters in Nevada

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Nevada’s Democrat-controlled Legislature has passed two tax hike proposals, which will appear on the 2022 election ballot.

Nevadans to Decide Whether to Raise Gambling Taxes

Last Friday marked the deadline for lawmakers in Nevada to act on the proposed measures for tax hikes in the state, supported by The Clark County Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the state, representing teachers from the Las Vegas area. The two proposals are expected on the ballot in the 2022 election. The association submitted signatures for the proposed measures, which put forth a hike in taxes from gambling and sales.  

In Nevada, if lawmakers fail to act on a proposal within 40 days after submission of signatures, the measure automatically passes on to the election ballot. The proposal needs at least 10% of the votes from the last election to submit it to the Legislature. 

According to the first proposal, the Las Vegas sales taxes would go up to almost 9.9%, with a tax hike dedicated to school funding from 2.6% to 4.1%. The second measure would increase the gambling tax rate from 6.75% to 9.75%

Even though the money will go for unspecified spending in the general fund, according to the teachers’ union, the increase in tax revenue would help fund education in the state. 

That comes despite a significant dip in gaming revenue on a year-to-year comparison. In January, revenue marked an improvement compared to December 2020, reporting gaming revenue of $761.8 million. 

Nevada is ready to bounce back and is showing signs of recovery with its gradual lifting of restrictions. The state is taking active measures to be back in the game before long.

Currently, Democrats control both the Senate and House. Although the Democrats want to raise the revenue taxes, they have opposed the two proposals.

Teachers’ Union Wants “a Conversation” on Education Funding

According to Jeremy Hughes, a Republican consultant, Nevada Democrats have to go on the record and say “whether or not they support raising taxes for education or the status quo.” Republicans also think that associating the Democratic Party with raising taxes could play in their favor in the future. 

Senate Leader Nicole Cannizzaro stated that Nevada is still in the middle of a recession and a global pandemic. According to her, raising taxes while families are struggling is not the right way to put the state back on track. 

The teachers’ union executive director, John Vellardita, stated that the union’s intent for the proposal was to “start a conversion” on education funding. He said he would even consider a withdrawal of the proposals if education becomes a priority for the Legislature and Gov. Steve Sisolak.

According to him, this session showed if the current Legislature would prioritize education funding. If not, the measures will go on the 2022 ballot for the residents of Nevada to make a decision. 

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