Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, is running to represent District E on the Clark County Commission, but he’s also got one eye on the Clark County School District. Segerblom wants to increase the sales tax to boost education funding and have the County Commission take control of the School Board.
Segerblom made his comments while appearing on Nevada Politics Today.
“We need those extra resources that we just don’t have right now and that costs money,” said Segerblom of his desire to raise the sales tax in Clark County by 1 percentage point and spend the money on education. “We cannot be held hostage by the rest of the state.”
“Even though the money (collected by the sales tax) is going to hurt poor communities more severely, a lot of the money is going to go back into the poor communities, because that’s where we need the extra money” said Segerblom. “In an ideal world, we’d have an income tax or an estate tax and only the richest of the rich would pay it. But realistically in Nevada, that’s not going to happen.”
That money shouldn’t just be handed over to this district, says Segerblom. Instead the County Commission should restrict its use to certain programs or to pay for teachers. Segerblom would also like to bring the district Board of Trustees under the control of the commission.
“Personally, I’d like to see that down the road,” said Segerblom. “Why couldn’t each county commissioner appoint a school trustee as opposed to this elected thing where we don’t know who they are?”
“Because of the size of the district — they make $8,000 a year — there’s no way the school trustees can really supervise the district.”
Segerblom also wants to abolish the caps on increases in property taxes. State law limits how much property taxes can increase from year to year. County governments throughout the state have sought to increase those caps.
“Personally, I wouldn’t like to see caps at all, but in the short-term we probably have to have some kind of caps,” said Segerblom. “Our property taxes are really out of whack, particularly for business and for the hotels. They can certainly afford to pay more.”
Segerblom would also like to see Clark County become a sanctuary county. Sen. Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, has proposed an initiative to ban sanctuary cities and counties in Nevada. If Roberson collects enough signatures, voters will vote on the constitutional amendment in 2018 and potentially in 2020.
“Absolutely (Clark County should be a sanctuary county),” said Segerblom. “It’s a safety issue. The undocumented need to know that if they come forward — either they’re victims of crime or saw a crime — they don’t have to worry about losing their status or being deported.”
It’s an issue that divides Democrats. Segerblom said that during the past legislative session a bill that would have made Nevada a sanctuary state failed to get a hearing because Senate Democrats “just didn’t have the votes” to move it forward.
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