COUNTY ADVISORY QUESTION NO. 5
Room Tax Question
This question is advisory only: Do you support the imposition of an additional hotel and motel room tax of not more than 3 percent to be used in the first 2 years after imposition to avoid large cuts in the funding of education and other state programs and to be used thereafter to increase the funding of K-12 Education, specifically to improve student achievement and for salaries of non-administrative educational personnel?
This ballot question will serve to advise the Nevada Legislature of whether the majority of the voting public in this County would support the imposition of a new room tax. If this question is passed, an additional tax would be imposed on revenue from the rental of transient lodging (commonly known as a “room tax”) anywhere within this County, including all cities and towns, on and after July 1, 2009.
The amount of the additional tax imposed would vary depending on the sum of all the room taxes currently being imposed in each particular area, but would not exceed 3 percent in any area. If the sum of all current room taxes in a particular area is less than 13 percent, the amount of the additional room tax would be the difference between 13 percent and the sum of all current room taxes in that area, but not to exceed 3 percent. No additional room tax would be imposed in any area where the sum of all current room taxes is equal to or greater than 13 percent. The imposition of this additional room tax, if any, does not affect any current room taxes imposed in the County and does not limit the ability of a local government entity in the County to impose additional room taxes, if authorized by current law.
The proceeds of the tax would be directed to the State to offset the loss of tax revenue over the next two fiscal years from the downturn in the economy of this State, and after that time to increase the funding of K-12 Education, specifically to improve student achievement and for salaries of non-administrative educational personnel. Those proceeds would not be used to replace or supplant any other available funding for schools.
The question is purely advisory and does not place any legal requirement on the County Commission, any member of the County Commission, any officer of the County or the Nevada Legislature.
ARGUMENT ADVOCATING PASSAGE
Nevada, the fastest-growing state in the nation, has struggled to provide its citizens with quality public education, improved transportation, adequate public safety and the many other public services that Nevadans expect and demand. For years, our schools have suffered from overcrowded classrooms, teacher shortages and a lack of money for textbooks and such basic supplies as pencils and paper.
Nevada has long ranked near the bottom among all states in the level of school spending per student.
Compared to the rest of the nation, Nevada’s financial support for public services as a whole has been woefully inadequate.
Despite the growing need for quality schools and other public services, revenue shortfalls have required the Governor and Legislature to cut more than $1 billion from the state budget over the past year.
Nevada’s schools, which are already under-funded, will now fall further behind. Our children deserve the opportunity to gain job and life skills that will help provide the capable workforce essential to our state’s future. Unless we act now, the lack of money for schools and other essential public services will negatively impact our children, our families, our communities and our state.
This question gives you the opportunity to express your opinion on whether a new source of money, a 3-percent tax on the cost of staying in a hotel or other place of public lodging in Clark County, should be created and used to provide additional money for education and other basic services. The money from the proposed room tax would be used in the first 2 years (2009-2011) to restore some of the money recently cut from the state budget. Thereafter, the money would be used to improve student achievement in our schools and to help pay for teachers, classroom aides and other school employees.
Because room taxes are largely paid by tourists and other visitors to Las Vegas, the proposed tax would have little or no impact on the average resident of Clark County.
It is important to understand that this question is advisory only. It does not require the Governor or the Legislature to do anything. But it allows you to express your opinion on whether education and other vital services should be funded at a more adequate level with this new source of money. Please vote “YES” on Question No. 5.