Increased property taxes a boon for Henderson schools

Henderson schools will receive over $1 million through increased tax revenue from the city’s redevelopment areas.

The money represents 18 percent of the property tax revenue generated within the boundaries of two redevelopment areas and is set aside for the Clark County School District, said Mark Hobaica, Henderson’s redevelopment manager.

Documents show $427,157 will be spent in schools in the Downtown Redevelopment Area, and $594,881 will be spent in schools in the Eastside Redevelopment Area.

“The money that is being generated from redeveloment … does some good things to help the education of the children who are parts of the schools,” Hobaica said.

The $1.02 million was distributed among Hinman, McCaw, Sewell, Stevens, Thorpe, Treem and Robert Taylor elementary schools, Brown and White academies, Burkholder Middle School and Basic and Foothill high schools.

The city’s Redevelopment Agency proposed the money be spent on Google Chromebooks, iPads, iMacs, Wi-Fi upgrades, forensic science lab packages and field trip transportation.

The agency manages five redevelopment areas including Cornerstone, Downtown, Eastside, Lakemoor Canyon and Tuscany, according to the city’s website.

“What happens is the money from property taxes generated within that boundary of Downtown and Eastside goes to the redevelopment agency/the city to reinvest back into that area,” Hobaica said. “… This is the most money we’ve given away ever, and this money will continue to go up. Next year, there probably will be $1.2-$1.4 million. It’s just connected directly to the economy and the strength of the economy.”

The state law that sets aside 18 percent for the Clark County School District has generated $2.05 million for the Eastside and Downtown redevelopment areas since 2015, said Tiffany Reardon, redevelopment communications specialist.

Hobaica attributed the increased tax revenue to the improving economy and new development.

Until the Clark County School District reorganization this year, Hobaica said Henderson officials didn’t have a say over how the taxes generated by redevelopment areas were spent. Henderson was the first city in Southern Nevada to create a Community Education Advisory Board as a result of the reorganization process.

The board has 15 members and is led by Chairman Lee Farris, vice president of land development for the LandWell Coq. Other members include Jodi Tyson, government affairs director for Three Square food bank; Dennis Potthoff, dean of education at Nevada State College; Greg Wells, president of investments and real estate for Marnell Properties; and Jenn Blackhurst, president of HOPE for Nevada.

School principals send recommended needs to the board, which makes recommendations to Henderson Redevelopment Agency, the entity that decides what happens with the money.

“Now, we have a say in what the money is used for,” Hobaica said.

Funds are set to be distributed to schools in the second quarter of 2018, he said.

Contact Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@viewnews.com or 702-383-0496. Follow @DariaSokolova77 on Twitter.

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