Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Teachers Taxes Tactics

Does Vegas Tax Structure Flunk Test?

Educators in Las Vegas are up in arms. They are ready to have a Taxing Tea Party.Those who teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, have gotten out their hickory stick and threatened to place the casino owners on detention. It is no longer enough to have Nevada's largest employers write on the board 100 times, "I will not underfund education in Nevada," teachers are preparing their lesson plans to read, "More Taxes = More Money." Apples for the teacher might taste good but they don't pay the rent.

The problem has more issues than pages in a textbook, but some of the more prominent include the fact that Nevada rates 49th among the states in funding education. The cost per pupil is thousands of dollars below the average paid among states. The Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, for example, a public charter school, raises millions each year to supplement the cost per pupil to bring it on a par with the average spending per pupil. The results are that students at the AACPA have far more success than others in the local school district - and AACPA students are for the most part economically at risk.

Teachers have begged, pleaded, and cajoled the legislature to provide more funding, but for naught. In 1968 teachers actually picketed schools but little activism has occurred since until now. The pacifists have become activists. They propose that casinos that earn in excess of $ 1 million per month have a 3% tax hike from 6.75% to 9.75%. The union that represents the teachers filed the petition recently and must now gather 60,000 signatures to have the measure placed on the November 2008 ballot.

Casinos, of course, do not feel it is fair to be the object of the teacher's lectures. They've responded that funding should be spread over a broader segment of the state's businesses. They have a point. Scores of businesses operate in Nevada and take millions out of the state without paying taxes. Teachers want their share of the (apple) pie. Time and the voters will tell if any more of the casinos revenues get expelled.

Dr. Forgot

No comments: