LAS VEGAS — The Clark County Board of Commissioners discussed an extreme interest in having a joint meeting with the Clark County School District Board of Trustees.
On July 2, the commissioners discussed Assembly Bill 309, which would raise the county sales tax by a quarter-cent.
If enacted, the tax hike would generate an estimated $108 million yearly. That money would go straight into a restricted fund for eight eligible programs. most dealing with CCSD education.
The board decided it was unwilling to commit a specific dollar amount until a joint meeting is conducted.
“This is going to be one of the more significant things this board does,” Commissioner Michael Naft said during the meeting. “I just think we need to make sure we do this in the sunshine and make sure the public is welcomed and invited.”
AB 309 needs a two-thirds vote from the commission to impose the tax or a simple majority of voters in a ballot question.
The board does not have to take action on the bill and can commit to a smaller tax than the full quarter-cent that the bill would authorize. However, the bill does confine the board to using the tax revenue only on eight specific categories.
These include reducing school truancy, early childhood and adult education, retaining and recruiting teachers, affordable housing, reducing homelessness and training in the hospitality industry.
The commissioners, however, do have leeway on how long specific categories receive tax proceeds, and when it starts via a sunrise-sunset clause. These clauses also can include what conditions are put on the recipients of the tax proceeds such as reporting requirements for accountability.
Commission Chairwomen Marilyn Kirkpatrick expressed wanting a joint meeting with CCSD to determine the district’s needs, and what the goal toward student achievement is if they went down this path.
“I just offer my support for a joint meeting,” Naft said. “For one, it will bring so much spotlight on this issue, which I think is important. And two, it will get the seven of us in front of the trustees in a formal format to get us the answers we need before moving forward.”
Commissioner Larry Brown agreed with having a meeting with CCSD before committing dollars to the school district.
“I’m not convinced that it wouldn’t be throwing money away,” he said. “Whereas some of our (county) programs, being selfish, we can truly make an impact.”
No date is set for a joint meeting between the two parties.
CCSD Supt. Jesus Jara was at the meeting.