At the capital: SB411: School districts want another tax increase for construction

Hi, I’m Victor Joecks here in Carson City. When people ask me how much the education establishment wants to spend, I tell them the answer is “more.” They are simply never satisfied.

SB411 sponsored by Sen. Debbie Smith, is the perfect example of this. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed an over $3 billion property tax for school construction. The Legislature authorized school districts to impose this property tax increase without getting voter approval despite voters being promised that any extension of the property tax would require a vote of the people.

Despite passing one of the largest tax increases in Nevada history specifically for school construction just weeks ago, SB411 would allow school districts to seek another tax increase for school construction.

SB411 has already passed the Senate and received a hearing in Assembly Taxation yesterday.

If passed, SB411 would allow school districts to create a committee of special interest groups to “recommend” a tax increase be proposed to voters in the 2016 General Election.

There are no limits on the type or even number of taxes that could be submitted. The legislation even specifically authorizes the committee to ask for multiple types of tax increases and that these tax increases could exceed any current statutory limitations. Also, the school districts could ask to make these tax increases permanent, instead of having to ask for voter approval after a period of time.

Now, is it good that this would have to go to voters? Absolutely. But why is it that the only time politicians want to ask the voters’ opinion, is when they want to take more of our money? Let’s ask voters if they want to repeal collective bargaining or would like tax cuts for a change.

Here is the contact information for the members of the Assembly Taxation Committee.

Derek Armstrong, Chair,,

Randy Kirner, Vice Chair,,

Jill Dickman,,

John Hambrick,

Pat Hickey,

Erven Nelson,

Glenn Trowbridge,

Teresa Benitez-Thompson,

Irene Bustamante Adams,

Olivia Diaz,

Marilyn Kirkpatrick,

Dina Neal,

The contact information for additional lawmakers, including Governor Sandoval, can be found here.

Victor Joecks is executive vice president of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a non-partisan, free-market think tank. For more visit