From the Washoe County School District:
After hearing previous testimony from Superintendent Pedro Martinez and several community and business leaders, members of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee passed Assembly Bill 46, the capital projects funding bill sponsored by the Washoe County School District (WCSD). The bill now moves before the full Assembly for a vote.
"I am so pleased that the committee members have voted to support this bill," said Superintendent Pedro Martinez. "AB 46 is critical to our ongoing efforts to repair and maintain our school buildings. We are grateful to the members of the committee for their vote, and we look forward to their continued support as the bill moves forward."
"I'm happy the bill has made it this far, and I look forward to having the opportunity to answer any questions the Assembly might have," said Dave Aiazzi, vice president of the WCSD Board of Trustees. "I think we've made a good case to the committees, and we'll be making the same case to the full Assembly."
Sixty percent of WCSD schools are more than 30 years old, and 25 percent of WCSD schools are more than 50 years old. Each of the 93 WCSD schools have capital needs that include necessary maintenance and repairs of items such as heating and ventilation systems, plumbing, roofing, and pavement. Revenue generated by AB 46 would be used to repair and replace failing equipment and to prevent building deterioration.
The District's only major source of funding, the 2002 rollover bond, expired in November 2012, leaving the WCSD with no way to generate capital funding to continue to maintain its buildings.
AB 46 would increase sales tax by ¼ percent in Washoe County and increase property tax by $0.05 per $100 of assessed value in Washoe County. According to UNR's Center for Regional Studies, the tax increases would cost average families approximately $8 per month. The bill would raise about $20 million annually to support the most critical capital projects in the District.
"The Washoe County School District is committed to continuing to provide safe and effective learning environments for our 63,000 students," said Martinez. "We are working hard to protect the community's investment in its schools, and AB 46 will provide the revenue we need to accomplish those goals."
More than a dozen community and business groups have endorsed AB 46, including: The Chamber; EDAWN (Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada); Education Alliance of Washoe County; Associated General Contractors of Northern Nevada; the Council for Excellence in Education; Nevada Association of School Boards; Nevada State Education Association; Parent Leaders for Education; the Nevada Association of REALTORS; the Northern Nevada Builders Association; the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties; Nevada PTA; and Painters and Allied Trades Local 567.
From the Washoe County School District