On the ballot in November will be a tax rate adjustment that’s worth taking a look at: Sales Tax. The proposed sales tax hike would increase Washoe County sales tax from 7.725% to 8.265%, which would make Washoe County the highest tax rate in Nevada. The current high is in Clark County at 8.15%. To put this into perspective – if you bought an iPhone and it cost $400 pre-tax, the cost would go from $430.90 to $433.06 after tax under the new sales tax rate. The committee overseeing the proposal had several different options to choose from including sales tax, property tax, car registration, hotel room tax, and real-estate transfers before settling on sales tax for the final proposal.
The money received from the tax increase is to go to Washoe County schools, which currently are overcrowded and underfunded. However, the sales tax increase would be effective indefinitely. The intent is to allow the school district to use $781 million in bonds to fund school projects over the next 20 years to be used along with the $315 million in rollover bonds granted from state lawmakers stemming from the 2002 ballot election for Washoe County Schools that expired in 2012. According to the Reno Gazette Journal, the proposed fixes to the schools are: additions to Damonte Ranch High School, existing school repairs, three new middle schools, three new high schools, repurpose Hug High School, nine new elementary schools, expand Sparks High School, invest in older schools, expand nutrition services, and expand the transportation yard.
Currently, Nevada ranks lasts in education ranking in the nation; according to a report in the Reno Gazette Journal. Nevada also ranks 48th for school funding, only paying about $8,200 per student, when the national average is $11,700 per student.