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Nevada Lawmakers Approve Governor's Tax Hike to Fund Education

PHOTO: Gov. Brian Sandoval's proposed $1.1 billion tax increase to benefit the state's education system has sailed through the Nevada Legislature. Photo courtesy Gov. Sandoval's office.
PHOTO: Gov. Brian Sandoval's proposed $1.1 billion tax increase to benefit the state's education system has sailed through the Nevada Legislature. Photo courtesy Gov. Sandoval's office.
June 2, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. - State lawmakers are giving the nod to Governor Brian Sandoval's effort to modernize Nevada's education system through a $1.1 billion tax increase.

Senate Bill 483 received the necessary two-thirds support in both the state Assembly and Senate to ensure passage, and the bill now only needs the governor's signature to become law.

In his State of the State Speech earlier this year, Sandoval said Nevada needs to improve public education to compete in a growing global economy.

"What we must all agree on is that another generation of young Nevadans cannot move through our schools without more resources, choice and reform," he said. "We must modernize our revenue system."

Sandoval also pointed out that Nevada has the nation's lowest high-school graduation rate, as well as the lowest preschool attendance rate in the country.

New revenues will be generated through increases to the state's business license fee and cigarette tax, and by extending other taxes that were scheduled to come to an end.

Lindsay Anderson, government affairs director with the Washoe County School District, says the new money will give the state the ability to fully fund full-day kindergarten, as well as several other programs.

"It makes investments in our English-language learners, our students living in poverty and our special education students," she says. "Hopefully every student will benefit."

Anderson says English instruction and full-day kindergarten programs should each see funding increases of around $100 million per year.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV