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Gov. Sandoval unveils budget with $1.1 billion tax increase | News

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Gov. Sandoval unveils budget with $1.1 billion tax increase

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Gov. Brian Sandoval has unveiled a budget that would raise taxes by $1.1 billion and give the majority of that back to Nevada schools.

"My budget will make sure students are college ready by graduation," Gov. Sandoval said.

The proposal unveiled Thursday evening in Sandoval's State of the State address calls for restructuring the flat, $200-a-year business license fee into a fee that varies based on a company's gross receipts and industry type. It also calls for making temporary "sunset" taxes permanent. It would use the extra money to expand full-day kindergarten statewide and provide extra resources to schools with a high number of English Language Learners and children living in poverty.

"We will put a total of $100 million in the Zoom schools," Sandoval said.

Governor Sandoval continued by saying, "My budget sets aside $50 million for students in the most impoverished parts."

Sandoval's two-year budget totals $7.3 billion. Passing it won't be easy in a state where 79 percent of voters recently rejected a margins tax to fund education. However,  the governor's high popularity and allies in the Republican-controlled Legislature could make it happen.

“As a member of the Education Committee, I am pleased to see the Governor's primary focus for this 2015 budget is education and I support the Governor's plans for more charter schools, reforming collective bargaining, and student data protection," Assemblywoman Victoria Dooling said.

“Governor Sandoval spoke of the “New Nevada” focused on education. The breaking up of the school districts into smaller, more manageable districts is a positive move, as is reforming collective bargaining, " said Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman.  "Other education budget proposals are worth considering, but I can't support a $1.2 billion dollar increase, $882 million just for education, being paid for buy burdening small business with increased business licensing fees. This new source of revenue will stifle new business growth, the lifeblood of our economy. It will result in loss of jobs and new business expansion. At the onset of his speech, Governor Sandoval said we moved Nevada forward by cutting spending, so how can we continue to move Nevada forward by increasing taxes and not continuing to cut spending?"

Assembly Democratic Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick delivered the Democratic State of the State response Thursday night.  In her speech, she mostly focused on helping all Nevada working families. 

Kirkpatrick talked about working together on increasing education funding and reforming an antiquated tax system that will tax luxury items in order to help everyday Nevadans keep more money in their pocket.

“We know the choices we have to make. They are not easy but hard choices never are. A real debate over tax reform is necessary. Should someone able to pay $5,000 for table service at a nightclub pay a little bit more money so that we can, lower car registration for regular folks?" Assemblywoman Kirkpatrick said.  "Should a person with enough disposable income to spend $500 on a festival ticket, not pay a little bit more so that we can fund a sales tax holiday for families to buy school supplies for their kids? Of course we should.  A 'New Nevada' that only benefits those at the top will look a lot like old Nevada."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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