Teachers’ Union in Las Vegas Lawyers Up over Disputed Casino Tax Ballot Measures

Barbara Cegavske, the Republican secretary of state in Nevada, is being sued by the Clark County Education Association. The CCEA is backing political action committees, and they are demanding to remove two tax measures from the 2022 ballot. The tax hikes seek to increase the amounts casinos pay to the state in a bid to boost Nevada’s ailing educational system.

The Secretary’s Office States that The Measures Cannot be Removed

At the moment, Nevada is facing some difficulties as numerous flights towards its gambling capital are being canceled and the potential changes could harm the industry, which is why they must be done right.

The secretary’s office states that it is impossible to remove the two measures in question, even though Aaron Ford, the Democratic general attorney in Nevada states, states otherwise.

In a letter to Ford sent in October, Cegavske stated that the review has been done, and the office has concluded that the Opinion does not address the Constitutional imperative and hence, the Secretary is compelled to act “in a certain manner.” She also added that the office has a different position from the Opinion.

The Teachers’ Union Spearheaded a Successful Campaign on Rising Casino Taxes in 2021

In 2021, the teachers’ union, which is based in Las Vegas, led a campaign on raising casino taxes from 6.75% to 9.75%. A proposition to raise the sales tax to 9.9% as a way to increase investments in the K-12 program was also included and the campaign managed to collect 97,598 signatures.

According to John Vellardita, CCEA director, the goal of the campaign was to start a conversation about Nevada’s underfunding in its education. As data by the World Population Review from 2021 suggests, the state is poor in this field as it ranks 45th. To add to that, its casino taxes are the lowest in the US, outside of Indian country.

The current legislature has been protective of the gaming sector in Nevada, which is its main economic contributor. Vellardita spoke to the Associated Press in June 2021 and said that $85 million of the new revenue will be directed towards education and promised to remove the initiatives from the ballot.

Moreover, he released a statement on Wednesday in which he argues that the new initiatives that were intended to increase education funding haven’t been supported by the Union ever since education funding was raised by lawmakers in May 2021.

Thanks to Vellardita, Nevada’s major industries sat down and negotiated a new tax mining increase in 2021, and it was passed by lawmakers in the last legislative session in 2021.

As for Cegavske, during her time as a lawmaker, she ironically opposed raising taxes, and as of right now, it remains unclear who will represent her if she contests the lawsuit. Normally, Ford is likely to be granted that role, which would be interesting as he opposes her interpretation of Nevada’s constitution.

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