Las Vegas Sun

June 2, 2015

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Teachers union wants more than extending taxes set to expire

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The state’s teachers union isn’t satisfied with walking out of the Legislature with just extending taxes — $712 million — set to expire next month.

Gary Peck, executive director of the Nevada State Education Association, said “the sunsets are not enough.”

Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said the sunsetting taxes were the best they could get from Republicans right now.

Peck said the Legislature should go back to its plan to raise $1.2 billion in extending the sunsets and instituting a sales tax on services and the margin tax. That tax plan won no support from Republican lawmakers, who would be necessary to pass any tax.

“It’s unfortunate that the Legislature seems unwilling and unable to stand up to governor and do what’s right,” Peck said.

Lynn Warne, president of the Nevada State Education Association, said the union would still look to put a tax on the ballot if all it got were extending the existing taxes.

Most of the money, Peck said, would be eaten up by replacing budget gimmicks and transfers from school district accounts now in question because of a Supreme Court ruling.

At a minimum, he said, Democrats should consider its proposal to raise $1.2 billion in taxes, which included $500 million above the sunsets.

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