Assembly Votes to Raise Taxes on Vegas Hotels

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The Nevada Assembly voted 35-7 Tuesday
for a tax increase of up to 3 percent on hotel rooms in the Las
Vegas and Reno areas to help deal with the state's widening budget
crisis.

Under the plan, overall room taxes would be capped at 13
percent. The increase would at first help restore budget cuts
required because of a worsening state revenue shortfall. Later, the
proceeds would be used to supplement K-12 education funding.

The proposal, now moving to the Senate for final action, was
backed by Las Vegas- and Reno-area voters and also by Gov. Jim
Gibbons as a result of that public support. Last October, major
Nevada casinos and a teachers union delivered more than 130,000
signatures supporting the plan.

Legislative staffers said the increased rate could yield about
$233 million in new general fund revenue, almost all of it from the
Las Vegas area, in the coming two fiscal years. Starting in July
2011, the funds would designated for K-12 education.


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