4 More Groups Endorse WCSD Capital Project Funding Bill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

4 More Groups Endorse WCSD Capital Project Funding Bill

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The Nevada Association of REALTORS, Nevada Association of School Boards (NASB), Nevada State Education Association (NSEA), and the northern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) are formally endorsing Assembly Bill 46, which would provide funding for repairs and maintenance at schools in the Washoe County School District (WCSD).

The groups join a number of other organizations that are supporting the bill, including The Chamber, Associated General Contractors of Northern Nevada, EDAWN (Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada), the Council for Excellence in Education, the Builders Association of Northern Nevada, and Parent Leaders for Education.

"School boards across Nevada are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the learning and achievement of all boys and girls attending our public schools," said Dotty Merrill, executive director of the Nevada Association of School Boards. "A major part of that responsibility includes providing facilities that are safe and that will contribute to learning so Nevada students are prepared for meaningful participation in the state and global economies. With that also comes responsibility for maintaining and revitalizing the constituents' considerable investment in school facilities. Assembly Bill 46 will help the WCSD accomplish both of these important goals. The Nevada Association of School Boards supports this bill."

Sixty percent of WCSD schools are more than 30 years old, and 25 percent of WCSD schools are more than 50 years old. Altogether, the District maintains more than seven million square feet of building space, and officials say a number of roofs, boilers, HVAC systems, electrical and plumbing equipment, flooring, and pavement are in need of maintenance work or replacement.

"We recognize that the Washoe County School District is in need of funding and support for repairs and maintenance of its schools, and we support Assembly Bill 46," said Patty Kelley, president of the 2013 Nevada Association of REALTORS, which represents realtors in Reno, Sparks, and Incline Village. "If we hope to grow our economy and draw more families to our area, we must demonstrate that we are committed to providing an atmosphere in our schools that is conducive to learning, growing, and excelling. We feel that AB 46 offers the most efficient way for the district to raise the revenue necessary to address serious capital project needs in all of our schools. This funding would also protect and preserve the community's considerable investment in its school buildings and lessen the financial burden the district will face if these repairs are not addressed now. We are proud to endorse AB 46."

AB 46 would establish a ¼ percent increase in the sales tax and a property tax increase of $0.05 per $100 of assessed value in Washoe County. The cost for the average family is $8 per month. The bill would provide approximately $20 million annually for maintenance and repairs at 93 WCSD schools.

"NAIOP, representing the region's commercial real estate industries, understands the unique challenges of funding necessary building maintenance and upgrades, given limitations in the current structure," said Aaron West, chair of government affairs for NAIOP. "Washoe County School District continues to demonstrate its commitment to our students— with numerous success stories— in the face of reduced operating budgets. While our members are very sensitive to additional taxes, this legislation will allow the district to put all available resources into students' education needs. The dollars contemplated will have little effect on the residents of the area, but will have a tremendous impact on the education infrastructure while supporting local jobs."

"NSEA is proud to stand with the Washoe County School District and support their effort to find revenue for the revitalization of Washoe schools," said Lynn Warne, president of the NSEA, which represents more than 28,000 Nevada teachers and education support professionals. "Our kids deserve to have safe schools with quality learning environments."

Assembly Bill 46 is scheduled for its first hearing by the Assembly Taxation Committee:

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 19

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Legislature Building, Room 4100

401 S. Carson Street

Carson City

For more information about capital funding needs in WCSD, visit: http://washoecountyschools.org/community/legislative-session/capital_funding



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