Las Vegas Sun

March 24, 2017

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Business, interfaith groups support Sandoval’s proposal to pay for education reform

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance joined forces today with Nevadans for the Common Good in support of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposal to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending on public education in Nevada.

Sandoval has proposed raising more than $430 million over the next two years by increasing the scope of Nevada’s business license fee. As it currently stands, the fee is $400 for all businesses. Sandoval’s plan would adjust rates for businesses based upon how they register with the secretary of state and their total revenue. All of the state’s 330,000 business will be subject to paying it quarterly.

“The LVGEA recognizes that it is imperative to start at the beginning and both reform our K-12 education system and pay for programs that will create a workforce that will be competitive in the 21st century global economy,” said Ray Specht of Toyota Financial Savings Bank, chairman the LVGEA’s board of directors.

LVGEA leaders participated in a meeting of Nevadans for the Common Good leaders today at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Las Vegas. Both organizations voted to support the business license fee proposal.

Robert Hoo, lead organizer of Nevadans for the Common Good, said Nevada has a “historic opportunity” to improve public education and invest in the future of children.

“While we recognize that money alone won’t fix everything, we have come to the conclusion that we won’t get the results we all agree are needed without spending more money,” he said.

Nevadans for the Common Good is a coalition of 37 churches, synagogues, nonprofit organizations and the senior living community that seek to improve the quality of life in the Las Vegas Valley.

LVGEA cited a study it commissioned on the economic development impact of the business license fee proposal, which concluded there would be “negligible negative impact” in Southern Nevada.

Both organizations said they’ll continue to work with the Legislature and Sandoval as a state budget for the next biennium is hammered out.

Hoo stressed that today’s NCG vote was strictly on education funding, not on the list of education initiatives the governor has proposed.

“There are some we really like and some we have questions about, and we’ll continue to work on those details,” he said.

Also today, the Keystone Corporation, a taxpayer advocacy group in Nevada, came out in opposition to the business license fee plan, while at the same time applauding Sandoval’s efforts to reform education, the construction defect and prevailing wage laws, and the state employee retirement system.

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