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September 21, 2014

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Commissioners approve hotel room tax proposal for ballot

Clark County commissioners this morning approved putting an advisory measure about raising hotel room taxes for education spending on the November ballot but only after saying a better funding solution is needed.

The measure will allow voters to have a say on whether to raise the room tax 3 percentage points for teacher pay. As an advisory matter, the measure wouldn’t become law if voters approve it. But its passage would provide political cover to legislators to enact it during the 2009 legislative session without fear of reprisal from voters.

The state teachers union and three gaming companies - Harrah’s, Wynn and Station casinos - are backing the measure.

Commissioners voted for the measure, but also expressed concerns that the tax was not broad enough to ensure stable funding for education. That's the same concern expressed by some gaming entities such as MGM Mirage.

Commissioner Tom Collins summed up the general sentiment, using food as an analogy: “I do not like eating liver, but I will eat it before I starve.”

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