Washoe County school officials have dropped plans for an advisory tax measure on the November ballot after a market survey showed little support for new funding revenues and skepticism on how money is currently spent.
A survey commissioned by the district found that most voters
agree more schools are needed. Those surveyed favored imposing an
impact fee on new homes to build them, over other funding options
such as sales taxes or real estates transfer fees.
At the same time, many believe the district wastes too much
"There is no use for a ballot question because we pretty much
know what the results would be already," Superintendent Paul Dugan
told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Washoe school officials have been considering new tax revenues
after the 2005 Legislature capped property tax increases. District
officials estimate the cap could amount to $300 million in school
construction funds over seven years.
Dugan said the findings also show the district needs to do a
better job of explaining schools' needs and how money is spent.
"The survey shows that the district, myself, the school board
and our communications department need proactive and educational
dialogue with the community to help them understand how we are
spending our money," Dugan said.
Washoe County's main source of school construction funding comes
from property taxes.
The Clark County School District, Nevada's largest, also
receives a cut from county hotel room taxes, while transfer fees on
existing home sales help fund school construction.
Other counties, such as Lyon and Douglas, impose impact fees on
new home sales to help build schools.
Washoe County has none of those additional revenue sources.
"We need to do a better job of getting the public to understand
that what we are asking for is the same additional resources every
other county has in terms of funding school construction," Dugan