(Victoria Antram) – The deadline for the Nevada State Legislature to act on two indirect initiated state statutes – the Gaming Tax Increase on Monthly Revenue above $250,000 Initiative and the Sales Tax Increase for Public Schools Initiative – was Friday, March 12.
The legislature did not enact the measures by the deadline, which sent them to the ballot in November 2022. In Nevada, the legislature has 40 days from the start of the session to act on indirect initiatives.
Nevadans for Fair Gaming Taxes is sponsoring the Gaming Tax Increase on Monthly Revenue above $250,000 Initiative, which would increase the rate of the fee on monthly gross revenue above $250,000 to 9.75%. Currently, the Nevada Gaming Commission collects a tax on monthly gross revenue from licensed gaming facilities. The tax is imposed according to the following tiers:
- 3.5% on gross revenue of the licensee which does not exceed $50,000 per month,
- 4.5% on gross revenue of the licensee which exceeds $50,000 but does not exceed $134,000 per month, and
- 6.75% on gross revenue of the licensee which exceeds $134,000.
Fund Our Schools is sponsoring the Sales Tax Increase for Public Schools Initiative, which would increase the state’s Local School Support Tax by 1.5 percentage points from 2.25% to 3.75% with revenue dedicated to public schools. An additional 0.35% sales and use tax with dedicated revenues for public education was imposed on June 30, 2015, which brings the total tax to 2.6%. The new total Local School Support Tax under the initiative would be 4.1%.
The initiatives were certified to the legislature in December 2020 after the campaigns submitted more than the 97,598 valid signatures required. Fund Our Schools submitted 190,192 raw signatures. County officials verified that 137,791 signatures, or 72.4%, were valid. Nevadans for Fair Gaming Taxes submitted 201,935 raw signatures. County officials verified the 148,605 signatures, or 73.6%, were valid.
The committees sponsoring the two tax initiatives have received all of their funding from the Clark County Education Association. According to the latest campaign finance filings submitted on January 15, Fund Our Schools reported $1.14 million in cash and in-kind contributions, and Nevadans for Fair Gaming Taxes reported $1.09 million in cash and in-kind contributions.
Clark County Education Association Executive Director John Vellardita said the union is open to other legislative alternatives to fund education. He said, “If there’s an alternative that emerges, and it satisfies what we think needs to be done, we’re going to buy into that alternative.”
Between 1996 and 2020, Nevada ballots have featured 29 initiatives with 21 (72.4%) approved and eight (27.6%) defeated.
Victoria Antram | Ballotpedia via The Center Square