CREATED Jan. 31, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- An education boost for Clark County students is now in the hands of state lawmakers.
"It's simply inexcusable as a state to leave tens of thousand of children behind in all of this," Ex. Dir. Nevada State Education Association Gary Peck said.
Peck and supporters are asking lawmakers to approve a new initiative that would pump $800 million into classrooms.
"If the taxpayers wake up and smell the coffee cooking we will have $800 million to fund education," Pres. Education Support Employees Association John Carr said.
But that means businesses will have to pay up. Companies making more than $1 million a year will have taxes raised 2 percent.
"Our tax structure is broken," Peck said. "Large businesses simply do not pay their fair share in Nevada."
Supporters said the money will help improve the state's low graduation rates and overcrowded classrooms that make it hard for students and teachers.
But opponents fear that increasing taxes could hurt businesses.
In a statement, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce said, "This tax would derail the progress we are making in job creation and entrepreneurship."
Other pro-business groups challenged the initiative, but the state supreme court shot down the opposition. Now it's up to those in Carson City to decide.
Lawmakers on both sides will have the first 40 days of the session to debate the initiative.